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The impact of an auditory training programme (The Listening Programme) on the auditory processing and reading skills of mainstream school children

Hole, Kevin (2013) The impact of an auditory training programme (The Listening Programme) on the auditory processing and reading skills of mainstream school children. MPhil thesis, University of Sheffield.

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The impact on listening difficulties in children due to impaired central auditory processing is currently a topic of considerable interest. This is due to the high reported incidence of deficits in auditory processing ability (the main deficit reported being poor speech discrimination ability in background noise in the classroom setting (Witton, 2010), and potential impact on reading deficits, through poor auditory temporal processing skills impacting on phonological awareness and reading abilities (Tallal et al, 1980; Stein et al, 1997; Goswami, 2011). There is currently a lack of consensus regarding the underlying cause of these listening difficulties, including the impact of higher order cognitive function (attention) and test materials used to diagnose impaired auditory processing function. Despite this lack of consensus, there are currently several commercially available systems claiming to improve reading and listening skills. These include the use of spectrally filtered classical music to reportedly improve neural synchrony of the central auditory system, an example is that of “The Listening Programme® (TLP)” produced by Advanced Brain Technologies. The British Society of Audiology and American Speech and Hearing Association currently report these interventions as experimental with little high quality scientific evidence. The aim of this study to investigate whether TLP® could affect an advance in auditory processing and reading skills in typically developing school age children (aged 8-9 years) compared to non-filtered classical music and a non-music control group. This study used a pseudo-random control trial design involving 21 participants. A series of auditory processing tasks including speech discrimination in noise, auditory attention and Backward Masking (a test of auditory temporal resolution) and reading tasks (including task of phonemic decoding; a test of a participant’s phonological awareness) were performed at pre and post intervention stages. All subjects were of average/above average readers. This study was underpowered and therefore concrete conclusions regarding the efficacy of the use of TLP® to improve auditory processing and reading skills in typically-developing children cannot be made. Correlations between temporal resolution and reading ability were not seen, as had previously been suggested (Tallal et al, 1980). The development of further research is discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Keywords: Auditory Processing, Reading, The Listening Programme, Paediatric
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Human Communication Sciences (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > Human Communication Sciences (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Mr Kevin Hole
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2014 10:04
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2014 00:18
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5356

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