Improved Signal-to-Noise Ratio and Classroom Performance in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: a Systematic Review
This paper systematically reviews the literature to determine if improving the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) improves classroom performance in students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Six databases were searched for the terms acoustics, signal-to-noise ratio, classroom and ASD. Five studies were found that met the selection criteria.
All five studies reported improving the SNR benefitted students with ASD in the classroom. Benefits included improved listening behaviours, increased on-task behaviours, improved speech recognition and reduced listening stress.
The evidence is suggestive that improving the SNR improves classroom performance in students with ASD. Limitations included the small number of studies and limited range of technologies considered. Further research should consider other technologies that could mitigate tactile sensitivities present in some students with ASD.
KeywordsSignal-to-noise ratio (SNR) Frequency modulation (FM) Soundfield amplification (SFA) Classroom acoustics Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
The authors acknowledge the financial support of the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC), established and supported under the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Program.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
- Acoustical Society of America (2000). Classroom acoustics. A resource for creating learning environments with desirable listening conditions. New York (NY): Author.Google Scholar
- American Academy of Audiology (2011a). Clinical practice guidelines: remote microphone hearing assistance technologies for children and youth from birth to 21 years (includes supplement A). New York (NY): Author.Google Scholar
- American Academy of Audiology (2011b). Supplement B: classroom audio distribution systems - selection and verification. New York (NY): Author.Google Scholar
- American National Standards Institute (2002). S12.60.2002 [R2009]. Acoustical performance criteria, design requirements, and guidelines for schools. New York, NY: Author.Google Scholar
- American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text revision).Google Scholar
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (1995). Guidelines for acoustics in educational environments, 37(Suppl. 14), 15–19.Google Scholar
- Anderson, K.L., Smaldino, J., & Spangler, C. (2012). Listening Inventory for Education—Revised (L.I.F.E.-R.)—student appraisal of listening difficulty. Retrieved September 18, 2016, from http://successforkidswithhearingloss.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/LIFE-R_Photo_-and_Question_Gallery_RE.pdf.
- Anderson K.L., & Smaldino, J. (2014). Children’s home inventory of listening difficulties. Retrieved September 18, 2016, from http://successforkidswithhearingloss.com/tests.
- Association of Australian Acoustical Consultants. (2010). Guideline for educational facilities acoustics. Sydney, Australia: Author.Google Scholar
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (2009). Autism in Australia, 2009. Retrieved September 17, 2016, from http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/4428.02009?OpenDocument
- Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) (2012) We belong. Sydney, NSW, Australia: Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect).Google Scholar
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Community report on Autism. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/states/comm_report_autism_2014.pdf.
- Christensen, D. L., Baio, J., Braun, K. V., Deborah, B., Charles, J., Constantino, J. N., & Yeargin-Allsopp, M. (2016). Prevalence and characteristics of autism spectrum disorder among children aged 8 years—autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, 11 sites, United States, 2012. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Surveillence Summaries, 65(3), 1–23. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.ss6503a1.Google Scholar
- Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC) (2016). Educational needs analysis. Retrieved October 23, 2016, from https://www.autismcrc.com.au/australian-education-needs-analysis.
- Crandell, C., & Bess, F. (1987). Sound-field amplification in the classroom setting. ASHA, 29, 87.Google Scholar
- Elliott, L. L. (1982). Effects of noise on perception of speech by children and certain handicapped individuals. Sound and Vibration, 71, 9–14.Google Scholar
- Etymotic Research (2005). Bamford-Kowal-Bench Speech-in-Noise Test (Version 1.03) [Audio CD]. Elk Grove Village, IL: Author.Google Scholar
- McIntosh, D. N., Miller, L. J., Shyu, V., & Dunn, W. (1999). Overview of the short sensory profile (SSP). In W. Dunn (Ed.), The sensory profile: examiner’s manual (pp. 59–73). San Antonio: The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
- Rance, G., Chisari, D., Saunders, K., & Rault, J.-L. (2017). Reducing listening-related stress in school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10803-017-3114-4.
- Reynolds, S., Miller Kuhaneck, H., & Pfeiffer, B. (2016). Systematic review of the effectiveness of frequency modulation devices in improving academic outcomes in children with auditory processing difficulties. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 70(1), 1–11.Google Scholar
- Ross-Swain, D. (1999). Ross information processing assessment–primary (RIPA-P). Austin: PRO-ED.Google Scholar
- Schafer, E. C., Mathews, L., Mehta, S., Hill, M., Munoz, A., Bishop, R., & Moloney, M. (2013). Personal FM systems for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and/or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): an initial investigation. Journal of Communication Disorders, 46, 30–52.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Schafer, E. C., Wright, S., Anderson, C., Jones, J., Pitts, K., Bryant, D., Watson, M., Box, J., Neve, M., Mathews, L., & Reed, M. P. (2016). Technology evaluations: remote-microphone technology for children with autism Spectrum children. Journal of Communication Disorders, 64, 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Semel, E., Wiig, E. H., & Secord, W. A. (2003). Clinical evaluation of language fundamentals, fourth edition (CELF-4). Toronto: The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
- Smoski, W. J., Brunt, M. A., & Tannahill, J. C. (1998). Children’s auditory performance scale (CHAPS). Tampa: Educational Audiology Association.Google Scholar
- Updike, C. D. (2006). The use of FM systems for children with attention deficit disorder. Journal of Educational Audiology, 13, 7–14.Google Scholar
- Vickers, D. A., Backus, B. C., Macdonald, N. K., Rostamzadeh, N. K., Mason, N. K., Pandya, R., & Mahon, M. H. (2013). Using personal response systems to assess speech perception within the classroom: an approach to determine the efficacy of sound field amplification in primary school classrooms. Ear and Hearing, 34(4), 491–502.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Young, D., McPherson, B., Hickson, L., & Lawson, M. (1997). Preferred FM system listening levels of children with central auditory processing disorders. Journal of the Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology, 30, 53–61.Google Scholar