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Title:Speech perception in children with reading disabilities: Phonetic processing is the problem
Author(s):Wu, Yashuo
Contributor(s):Allen, Jont
Subject(s):speech perception
early language development
reading disabilities
Abstract:Reading disability (RD) is a key obstacle in the development of literacy, and studies show that 15-20% of grade-school students have an RD. The current study examines one potential source of RD in young children (8-12 years old): inadequate open set, non-categorical speech processing abilities, which may be related to early language development. We present data from the following task: (1) A 3-interval forced choice procedure called the Syllable Confusion Oddball (SCO) task, which examines the listener’s ability to identify different syllables (CV/VC) from a string of three such syllables, spoken by three different talkers, selected from a database of 18 adult mixed-gender talkers. Ten children having well-documented RDs, normal hearing, and normal language function completed the tasks, and their performance was compared to that of six reading control (RC) children with no RD. The consonants and vowels each had 4.2 bits of entropy (19 vowels and 19 consonants), providing a sufficient range of responses to investigate perceptual confusions and differences in error rates. For the SCO task, the proportion of errors was significantly higher for the RD listeners compared with the RC listeners; the RD listeners had, on average, three to five times as many errors as the RC listeners. These errors were also highly idiosyncratic, with differences between individual subjects in the errors they made as a function of phone type (consonant vs. vowel) and syllable position (initial vs. final). Two main conclusions can be drawn from the results: (1) RD children have a significant speech perception problem in identifying open set syllables, despite normal pure-tone hearing and language processing abilities. (2) These results are at odds with previous work which shows no indication of phoneme identification impairment in RD children.
Issue Date:2019-05
Genre:Other
Type:Text
Language:English
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/104044
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-06-17


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