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Differential Diagnosis of Speech Sound Disorder (Phonological Disorder): Audiological Assessment beyond the Pure-tone Audiogram
06 August 2020 (online)
Background: According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, diagnosis of speech sound disorder (SSD) requires a determination that it is not the result of other congenital or acquired conditions, including hearing loss or neurological conditions that may present with similar symptomatology.
Purpose: To examine peripheral and central auditory function for the purpose of determining whether a peripheral or central auditory disorder was an underlying factor or contributed to the child’s SSD.
Research Design: Central auditory processing disorder clinic pediatric case reports.
Study Sample: Three clinical cases are reviewed of children with diagnosed SSD who were referred for audiological evaluation by their speech–language pathologists as a result of slower than expected progress in therapy.
Results: Audiological testing revealed auditory deficits involving peripheral auditory function or the central auditory nervous system. These cases demonstrate the importance of increasing awareness among professionals of the need to fully evaluate the auditory system to identify auditory deficits that could contribute to a patient’s speech sound (phonological) disorder.
Conclusions: Audiological assessment in cases of suspected SSD should not be limited to pure-tone audiometry given its limitations in revealing the full range of peripheral and central auditory deficits, deficits which can compromise treatment of SSD.