Individuals with auditory processing disorder (APD) experience listening difficulties in everyday life despite showing no decrease in pure tone audiometry. This paper reviewed previous studies of APD's history, background factors, assessments and treatments. The background factors of APD include developmental disorders, mental disorders, and double limited problems under a multicultural environment. Added to these are factors relating to the individual's personality and hearing environment - factors that also contribute to their listening problems. In light of the variety and complexity of contributing factors, we concluded that it is necessary, when making assessments, to augment auditory tests with examinations of the individual's visual perception, physical development and personality. We believe these factors should also be taken into consideration, together with other background factors, when providing support to individuals with APD.
This study investigated and compared the characteristics of hiragana nonword reading in Japanese children with developmental dyslexia (DD) and children in regular classes and examined cognitive functions in nonword reading. We tested 758 children in regular classes and 36 children with DD in hiragana nonword reading with special syllables. The results revealed that children with DD were significantly less accurate in nonword reading than children in regular classes. However, within the regular class group, the children with many errors in nonword reading performed significantly lower in phonological tasks, visual cognitive tasks (figure copying, immediate recall, and delayed recall), and rapid automatized naming (RAN) than the children without errors. Multiple regression analyses on a mixed group showed that both phonological information processing and visual memory were significant predictor variables for nonword reading. These results suggested that children with DD have difficulty in reading hiragana nonwords aloud and also that DD might be involved in the performance of the children in regular classes who made many errors in nonword reading. Both phonological information processing and visual memory possibly affect hiragana nonword reading.
The aim of this study was to derive insights concerning the risk of voice disorders accompanying various occupations. The subjects were elementary school teachers, professional voice users including actors and announcers, and office workers. The evaluation criteria consisted of VHI-10 scores, auditory perceptual rating, maximum phonation time, maximum expiration time, respiratory dissipation coefficient (i.e. maximum expiration time/maximum phonation time), PPQ, APQ, and HNR. The results showed that teachers had a higher level of respiratory dissipation coefficient, while office workers presented higher levels of VHI-10 scores and lower values of acoustic parameters. The professional voice users group had relatively good scores. This study suggested that teachers need more care for their throat and voice, and also require some type of voice training. Moreover, because the scores of office workers were not very good, it may be necessary to consider problems not only about quantity but also about the quality of vocalism.
It is commonly believed that the correct response of parents of children who stutter is to avoid making the child aware of stuttering and not discuss the issue of stuttering with the child. However, there are few detailed reports concerning the awareness ages and situations of people who stutter (PWS) and their parents. We asked 40 pairs of PWS (minimum age: 10 years) and their parents about the time they first became aware of stuttering. The average age of awareness of stuttering in PWS was 8.1 years. Only 8 percent became aware of their situation in talking with their parents, while 57 percent stated their awareness traced to preschool or school days. Moreover, most parents noticed their child's stuttering earlier than their child, and the children became aware only after they encountered situations at school where they had to speak with or before others. In order to minimize the negative ramifications of stuttering such as teasing and bullying, parents need to talk frankly to their children about their stuttering.
The present study investigated the short-term effects of speech shadowing training in 16 people who stutter (PWS). Speech shadowing is a task in which subjects listen to a spoken passage and repeat it with the shortest possible delay. In a subgroup of 8 PWS whose reading contained more than 3% of stuttered phrases before shadowing, the frequency of stuttering, especially blocking, and the mean duration of stuttering symptoms decreased during shadowing. They also produced significantly fewer dysfluencies in the reading-aloud task after shadowing than in the initial reading task, regardless of use of the same or different reading materials. The other 8 PWS with fewer than 3% dysfluencies before shadowing showed no significant change in stuttering frequency during or after shadowing. Thus, speech shadowing has a short-term aftereffect of reducing the frequency of stuttering, as well as possible usefulness by giving a chance to those with frequent symptoms to experience fluent speech during training. Analysis of the participants' free comments after the training based on the KJ (card sorting) method showed that they felt their speech was more fluent during shadowing than usual, and that they were looking forward to more shadowing training.
We administered five verbal fluency tasks that required production of "animals," "vegetables" (common nouns), "company names," "famous people's names" (proper nouns), and things people do (verbs). Each task was administered with a 60-second time limit. The subjects were 32 individuals with aphasia, and their performance was compared with the performance of healthy young and healthy elderly groups reported by Lee et al (2013). The results indicated that the number of correct responses was significantly fewer in the aphasic group than in both healthy groups. The number of correct responses of proper nouns and verbs was significantly fewer than that of common nouns in all the groups. Correlations between the number of correct responses of common noun fluency and the Naming subtest of the Standard Language Test of Aphasia (SLTA) were moderately significant; however, correlations between verb fluency and the Verb Naming subtest of SLTA were not significant. Therefore, naming tasks may not be substituted with verbal fluency tasks in the assessment of aphasia. The number of correct responses in each fluency task was also analyzed within four 15-second time intervals. The results revealed that the performance consistently declined during four consecutive intervals in both healthy groups, especially in the animal and vegetable tasks. On the other hand, in the aphasic group, decline in performance was not clear during the second to the fourth intervals. This suggests that people with aphasia need more time to retrieve words.
Kureta, et al. (2001) examined the effects of bi-mora frequency of the initial and final positions of words on reaction times in nonstuttering adults. The present study was designed to investigate whether the bi-mora frequency of the initial and final positions of words affects reaction times in children who stutter (CWS) and children who do not stutter (CWNS). Participants included 15 CWS and 15 CWNS who were matched for age, ranging in age from 7 to 12. Four types of three-mora nonwords were used as the stimulus. The first was words whose bi-mora frequency of the initial word position was high and that of the final position was also high (henceforth, high-high). The second was high-low, the third was low-high, and the fourth was low-low. The results revealed that reaction times in CWS were significantly longer than those in CWNS. Among the four types of stimulus, high-high words had significantly shorter reaction times than those of the other types of stimulus. In addition, reaction times with low-low words were significantly longer than those with the other types. No significant differences were observed between reaction times with high-low words and those with low-high words. In the discussion, we proposed a phonological/articulatory processing model for CWS and CWNS.
It has been empirically known that androgenic hormonal administration deepens the voice of a patient with female-to-male gender identity disorder (FTM/GID). However, there have been few reports that evaluated its time-dependent change. Here we report the time-dependent changes in the speaking fundamental frequencies of 23 FTM/GID patients who were administered androgenic hormone. Vowel sounds produced in an effortless way were recorded at baseline and 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after the start of the administration of androgenic hormone, and the speaking fundamental frequencies were evaluated. The speaking fundamental frequency was most drastically lowered between 1 and 3 months and was significantly lowered until 6 months. Although it was further lowered slightly between 6 and 12 months, the difference was no longer significant during this period. Also, the speaking fundamental frequencies at baseline and 6 months correlated significantly. In tandem with the lowering of the speaking fundamental frequency, the vocal cords developed redness and laryngeal prominence appeared, suggesting that androgenic hormone administration causes thickening of the vocal cords and growth of laryngeal cartilage and leads to deepening of the voice.
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