Auditory processing (AP) skills, cognition (IQ, memory, language, and literacy), and attention (auditory and visual) in 6- to 11-year-old children with normal hearing (N=1469) were tested in schools in the UK and evaluated by researchers at Medical Research Institute of Hearing Research, Nottingham, UK. AP improved with age. Poor-for-age AP was significantly related to poor cognitive, communication, and speech-in-noise performance (P<0.001). Correlations between auditory perception and cognitive scores were generally low. Response variability in AP tests, reflecting attention, and cognitive scores were the best predictors of listening, communication, and speech-in-noise skills. Symptoms of APD weie unrelated to auditory sensory processing. APD is primarily an attention problem, and treatment should be directed toward control of attention deficit. [1]

COMMENT. Auditory inattention and reduced cognitive ability are the best predictors of listening problems. “Auditory perception disorder“ or “central auditory dysfunction“ is a controversial subject and term for children with normal hearing but poor listening skills. The UK researchers prefer a definition based on reduced auditory attention and not a sensory processing problem.