The present investigation examined thehypothesis that early auditory temporalprocessing deficits cause later specificreading disability by impairing phonologicalprocessing (Farmer & Klein 1995; Tallal1980, 1984). Temporal processing ability atschool entry was examined using Tallal'sRepetition Test in a large unselected sample ofover 500 children followed over subsequentyears. Although our data confirmed the presenceof certain non-speech auditory processingdeficits in children later classified asspecific reading-disabled, many findings wereclearly at odds with a causal interpretation ofthis relationship. (1) Reading-disabled (RD)children were impaired at school entry on thesubtest with long interstimulus intervals(ISIs) but not the critical short-ISIsubtest. (2) RD children were not inferior toreading-age (RA) controls. (3) A subgroup of RDchildren with evidence of temporal deficitswere no less proficient on later phonologicalor reading measures than RD children with noevidence of early temporal impairment. (4)Although there was a reliable concurrentcorrelation between temporal deficits andphonological awareness at school entry(suggesting a possible common causeexplanation), early temporal deficits did notpredict later phonological impairment,pseudoword processing difficulties, or specificreading disability. On the other hand, earlytemporal deficits did predict later oralreceptive vocabulary and reading comprehensionweaknesses. These findings suggest thatauditory temporal deficits in dyslexics may beassociated with the same dysphasic-typesymptoms observed by Tallal and her colleaguesin specific language-impaired populations, butdo not cause the core phonological deficitsthat characterize dyslexic groups.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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