Conductive hearing loss in autistic, learning-disabled, and normal children

  • Donald E. P. Smith
  • Samuel D. Miller
  • Michael Stewart
  • Timothy L. Walter
  • James V. McConnell


Katz (1978) has suggested that mild, fluctuating conductive hearing loss due to middle-ear anomalies may account for the language and attention problems of learning-disabled children. His position was extended here to include autism. Normal, learning-disabled, and autistic children received repeated impedance measures over 5 weeks. A repeated-measures ANOVA of central tendency and variablility values led to the conclusions that (1) fluctuating, negative middle-ear pressure greater than normal characterizes both autistic and learning-disabled children, (2) the negative pressure is greater in autistic than in learning-disabled children, and (3) the condition is typically bilateral for autistic children.


Hearing Loss School Psychology Negative Pressure Impedance Measure Central Tendency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Battin, R. R. (1982). Developmental effects of early middle ear disorders.Journal of the American Academy of Private Practice in Speech Pathology and Audiology, 4, 31–32.Google Scholar
  2. Cooper, J., Gates, G., Owen, J., & Dicksen, H. (1976). An abbreviated impedance bridge technique for school screening (pp. 373–379). In J. L. Northern (Ed.),Selected readings in impedance audiometry. New York: American Electromedics.Google Scholar
  3. deQuieros, J. B. (1976). Diagnosis of vestibular disorders in the learning disabled.Journal of Learning Disabilities, 9, 37–50.Google Scholar
  4. Downs, M. P. (1981). Amplification in the habilitation of the young deaf child. In G. T. Mencher & S. E. Gerber (Eds.),Early management of hearing loss (pp. 199–224). New York: Grune and Stratton.Google Scholar
  5. Edelbrock, C., Costello, A. J., & Kessler, M. (1984). Empirical corroboration of attention deficit disorder.Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 23, 285–290.Google Scholar
  6. Feldman, A. S. (1975). Acoustic impedance-admittance measurements. In L. J. Bradford (Ed.),Physiological measures of the audio-vestibular system. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  7. Ginsberg, I. A., & White, T. P. (1978). Otological considerations in audiology. In J. Katz (Ed.),Handbook of clinical audiology (2nd ed., Chap. 2). Baltimore: William & Wilkins.Google Scholar
  8. Gordon, A. G. (1977). Fluctuating deafness and autism.Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 7, 115–116.Google Scholar
  9. Hayes, R. W., & Gordon, A. G., (1977). Auditory abnormalities in autistic children,Lancet, 2, 767.Google Scholar
  10. Holm, V. A., & Kunze, L. V. H. (1969). Effect of chronic otitis media on language and speech development.Pediatrics, 13, 833–839.Google Scholar
  11. Holmquist, J., & Miller, J. (1972). Eustachian tube evaluation using the impedance bridge.Mayo Foundation Impedance Symposium (pp. 297–307). Rochester, Minnesota: Mayo Foundation.Google Scholar
  12. Katz, J. (1978). The effects of conductive hearing loss on auditory function.Journal of the American Speech and Hearing Association, 20, 879–886.Google Scholar
  13. Keating, C. L. (1977).The relationship between the vestibular system, dyslexia, and reading in a selected population: A clinical study. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  14. King, C., & Young, R. D. (1982). Attentional deficits with and without hyperactivity: Teacher and peer perceptions.Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 10, 483–496.Google Scholar
  15. Koegel, K. L., & Schreibman, L. (1976). Identification of consistent responding to auditory stimuli by a functionally “deaf” autistic child.Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia, 6, 147–156.Google Scholar
  16. Konieczny, B. J. (1977).Physiological correlations between the auropalpebral reflex, cardiac rate and arbitrarily defined behavioral states in autistic children. Unpublished manuscript, University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  17. Konieczny, B. J., & Milburn, W. O. (1975).Behavioral states observed in non-symbolic language of children with autistic symptoms. Unpublished manuscript, University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  18. Krug, D. A., Arick, J. R., & Almond, P. A. (1980).Autism screening instrument for educational planning. Portland, Oregon: ASIEP Educational Co.Google Scholar
  19. Lahey, B. B., Schaughency, E. A., Strauss, C. C., & Frame, C. L. (1984). Are attention deficit disorders with and without hyperactivity similar or dissimilar disorders?Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 23, 302–309.Google Scholar
  20. Masters, L., & Marsh, G. E. (1978). Middle ear pathology as a factor in learning disabilities.Journal of Learning Disabilities, 11, 54–57.Google Scholar
  21. McCandless, G., & Thomas, G. (1976). Impedance audiometry as a screening procedure for middle ear disease. In J. L. Northern (Ed.),Selected readings in impedance audiometry (pp. 369–372). New York: American Electromedics.Google Scholar
  22. Michigan Special Education Rules. (1980). Lansing, Michigan: Michigan State Board of Education.Google Scholar
  23. Needleman, H., & Menyuk, P. (1977). Effects of hearing loss from early recurrent otitis media on speech and language development. In B. Jaffe (Ed.),Hearing loss in children (Chap. 44). Baltimore: University Park Press.Google Scholar
  24. Northern, J. L., & Grimes, A. M. (1978). Introduction to acoustic impedance. In J. Katz (Ed.),Handbook of clinical audiology (2nd ed., Chap. 29). Baltimore: William & WilkinsGoogle Scholar
  25. Ornitz, E. W. (1985). Neurophysiology of infantile autism.Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 24, 251–262.Google Scholar
  26. Ornitz, E. W., & Ritvo, E. R. (1976). The symdrome of autism: A critical review.American Journal of Psychiatry, 133, 609–621.Google Scholar
  27. Routh, D. K. (1979). Activity, attention and aggression in learning disabled children.Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 8, 183–187.Google Scholar
  28. Shepard, L., Smith, M., & Vojir, C. (1983). Characteristics of pupils identified as learning disabled.American Educational Research Journal, 20, 309–331.Google Scholar
  29. Skinner, M. W. (1978). The hearing of speech during language acquistition.Otolaryngological Clinics of North America, 11, 631–650.Google Scholar
  30. Smith, D. E. P., McConnell, J. V., Walter, T. L., & Miller, S. D. (1985). The effect of using an auditory trainer on the attentional, language, and social behaviors of autistic children.Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 15, 285–302.Google Scholar
  31. Ventry, I. M. (1980). Effects of conductive hearing loss: Fact or fiction.Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 45, 143–156.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald E. P. Smith
    • 2
  • Samuel D. Miller
    • 1
  • Michael Stewart
    • 2
  • Timothy L. Walter
    • 2
  • James V. McConnell
    • 2
  1. 1.University of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboroUSA
  2. 2.School of Education, Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of MichiganAnn Arbor

Personalised recommendations