Vol. 28, No. 1
Language Skills and Speed of Auditory Processing in Young Children
1 Veterans Medical Research Foundation, San Diego
2 Department of Cognitive Science, University of California, San Diego
Previous research examining auditory processing in school-age children and infants suggests a link between auditory event processing speed and specific language impairment. However, temporal auditory processing abilities have yet to be investigated in toddlers and preschoolers in the age range of 2 to 5 years. In this pilot study we tested the feasibility of a new behavioral test of thresholds for auditory processing speed in children 2 to 5 years of age. The results from n = 11 typically developing children show that accuracy was not significantly correlated with subsequent receptive and expressive language skills, although children who completed training more quickly tended to have higher receptive and expressive language scores. These results indicate the need for further work to develop a reliable, valid behavioral test of auditory change detection speed. Such a test could contribute to our understanding of individual differences and impairment of language ability during a crucial age range for language development.