Improved Signal-to-Noise Ratio and Classroom Performance in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: a Systematic Review

Abstract

Purpose

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).

Methods

Six databases were searched for the terms acoustics, signal-to-noise ratio, classroom and ASD. Five studies were found that met the selection criteria.

Results

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.

Conclusion

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.

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Acknowledgements

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.

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Correspondence to Yolanda van der Kruk.

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van der Kruk, Y., Wilson, W.J., Palghat, K. et al. Improved Signal-to-Noise Ratio and Classroom Performance in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: a Systematic Review. Rev J Autism Dev Disord 4, 243–253 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40489-017-0111-7

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Keywords

  • Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR)
  • Frequency modulation (FM)
  • Soundfield amplification (SFA)
  • Classroom acoustics
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)