Auditory Processing Assessments


The Audiologists at Cairns Audiology Group are experienced in the assessment of Auditory Processing problems in both children at or above 7 years of age and adults using the latest evidence based protocols and testing methods.

Auditory Processing is assessed via special tests designed to assess the various auditory functions of the brain. However, before this type of testing begins, it is important that each individual receive a routine hearing test to rule out any hearing loss contributing to auditory difficulties.  Auditory processing assessments may not be appropriate for children with significant developmental delays (i.e. cognitive deficits or some more significant cases of Auditory Spectrum Disorder).

The behavioural tests of auditory processing usually include assessments of monaural low-redundancy speech tests, dichotic speech tests, temporal patterning tests and an assessment of the individuals Spatial Processing Skills (LISN-S).

This assessment takes approximately 2 hours and requires a good deal of concentration, thus it  should be conducted at a time of the day when the patient is most likely to concentrate well and not be tired or distracted by hunger.

Monaural Low Redundancy Tests:

Monaural low-redundancy speech tests are designed assess an individual’s ability to achieve auditory closure, a process where a listener will fill in the gaps in a word when information is missing. The speech stimuli used in these tests have been modified and the test items are presented to each ear individually and the child is asked to repeat the words that have been presented. A percent correct score is derived for each ear and these are compared to age-appropriate norms.

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Dichotic Listening Tests:

In these tests, different speech items are presented to both ears either simultaneously or in an overlapping manner and the child is asked to repeat everything that is heard (divided attention) or repeat whatever is heard in one specified ear (directed attention). The child is asked to repeat all the stimuli heard and a percent correct score is determined for each ear and compared to age-appropriate norms.

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Temporal Patterning Tests:

These tests assess the student’s pattern perception and temporal functioning abilities, that is, the ability to process non-verbal auditory signals and to recognize order or patterns. An example of this is the Frequency Pattern Test which is a tone test of frequency discrimination (high/low) used to test temporal patterning ability and the listener’s frequency discrimination, temporal ordering, and linguistic labeling abilities.

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This test is an adaptive speech test that measures speech perception ability in noisy environments. Importantly, it also measures the ability of children to use the spatial cues that normally help differentiate a target talker from distracting speech sounds. An inability to use this information has been found to be a leading cause of difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments, such as the classroom.

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