Purpose: To describe and compare behavioral profiles associated with auditory processing disorder (APD) and specific language impairment (SLI) in school-age children. Method: The participants in this cross-sectional observational study were 64 children (mean age 10.1 years) recruited through clinician referrals. Thirty-five participants had a clinical diagnosis of APD and 29 were receiving services for language impairment. Participants completed 18 behavioral measures of spoken language, auditory processing, reading, memory, and motor speed. Responses were used to classify children as affected/not affected with APD, and affected/not affected with SLI. Comparisons were made between children with and without an APD diagnosis, and between children assigned to the APD/not APD and SLI/not SLI groups. Agreement between clinical status and test-based classifications is also reported. Results: There were no group mean differences between children with and without a clinical diagnosis of APD. Group mean differences on Cube Design and reading fluency were observed for children classified as APD/not APD; and group mean differences on nonword repetition, spatial working memory, and two auditory processing tests were observed for children classified as SLI/not SLI. Conclusions: The behavioral profiles of children with APD and SLI were very similar. Although group mean differences were found, they were difficult to interpret in terms of current theories. Learning outcomes: The reader will be able to: (1) describe similarities and differences found between children with SLI and children with APD and (2) discuss assessment problems posed by overlapping behavioral characteristics of SLI and APD.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Linguistics and Language
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- LPN and LVN
- Speech and Hearing