Remediating spatial processing disorder in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

Kiri Mealings*, Samantha Harkus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are much more likely than non-Indigenous children to experience early onset, chronic otitis media and associated hearing loss. This can result in the child developing spatial processing disorder (SPD). The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of Sound Storm auditory training in remediating SPD in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children at a regional school in Queensland, Australia. Method: Fifteen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (males = 8, females = 7, age range = 6–13 years, mean = 8 years; 6 months) with SPD were tested on audiometry, the Listening in Spatialized Noise – Sentences Test (LiSN-S), and Listening in Spatialized Noise – Universal Test (LiSN-U). Teachers completed the Listening Inventory for Education – Revised Teacher Questionnaire (LIFE-R) and Auditory Processing Domains Questionnaire (APDQ). These measures were taken pre- and post-training with Sound Storm. Results: Children's Sound Storm noise-to-signal ratio improved significantly and was positively correlated with the number of games they played. Eight of the nine children who completed at least 40% of the training were retested on the LiSN-S, LiSN-U, LIFE-R, and APDQ post-training. SPD was remediated in seven children according to the LiSN-S. All five children who were retested on the LiSN-U post-training showed spatial advantage scores within the normal range. Questionnaire results were mixed with only some children showing improved scores on the LIFE-R and APDQ. Conclusions: Sound Storm auditory training can be used in school with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to remediate SPD, however, it has its challenges. Maintaining the child's motivation to complete the training can be difficult. Additionally, the impacts of school holidays, events, and absences must be managed, as well as the impacts of the program on the child's school day.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110205
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Volume137
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • auditory processing disorders
  • spatial processing disorder
  • Indigenous children
  • auditory training

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