Croucher Foundation Sponsorship for Conferences 2011-2012: First Conference on Developing Assessment Tools and Intervention Programs for Childhood Auditory Processing Disorders in the Chinese Communities

Project: Research project

Project Details


Some children have more difficulties in understanding spoken messages than their peers. This problem is exacerbated in the presence of background noise, or when speech is rapid or degraded. If their problems in understanding spoken messages cannot be explained by either peripheral hearing loss, language disorder, attention deficit, or other higher cognitive or related dysfunctions, then such children may be considered at risk for Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) (ASHA, 2005; Jerger & Musiek, 2000). The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has defined APD as difficulties in the neural processing of auditory information in the central nervous system, with poor performance in one or more of the following skills: sound localization and lateralization; auditory discrimination; auditory pattern recognition; temporal aspects of audition, including temporal integration, temporal discrimination, temporal ordering, and temporal masking; auditory performance in competing acoustic signals (including dichotic listening); and auditory performance with degraded acoustic signals (ASHA, 2005).Based on the estimation of Moore (2006), among 1.37 million Hong Kong children up to 19 years of age (Census and Statistics Department of The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region, 2007), up to 96,500 children are suffering from APD. Nevertheless, the services offered to children with APD are scarce due to the inadequacy of diagnostic clinical tools. There is behavioral (Bellis & Ferre, 1999; Moncrieff & Musiek, 2002) and electrophysiological (Kraus et al., 1996; Wible, Nicol, & Kraus, 2005) evidence on the association between auditory processing difficulties and language or learning difficulties. Even mild APD, if left undiagnosed and untreated in early childhood years, may exert a significant negative effect on children’s social, communication, language and academic competencies and other life functions (Heine & Slone, 2008). Unfortunately, if they reach adolescence before the auditory processing problem surfaces, they may experience problems in coping with high academic demands. Without locally developed standardized materials, identifying and diagnosing children with APD, or effectively intervening would be very difficult, if not impossible. The proposed conference is aimed at bringing in international experts in the field of APD to support the development of assessment and diagnostic tools for identifying children in the Chinese communities in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. Research teams of tertiary institutions in the aforementioned regions/ countries who are interested in develop assessment tools and intervention programs for children with APD will be invited to submit a preliminary research proposal. A panel of international experts will review the proposals. The research teams will revise the proposals accordingly and prepare for a revised proposal and oral presentation during the conference.

Funding Source: HK Private Fund - Charities/Foundations^^
Effective start/end date12/05/1111/05/12


  • Auditory Processing Disorder


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