childhood hearing loss

Treating Auditory Based Learning Disorders

Nina Kraus and her lab at Northwestern have done wonderful work in looking at auditory based learning disorders. They have reported that impaired auditory processing can have a significant effect of reading development. So, will a program of auditory therapy improve auditory processing and/or reading?

Research has demonstrated that even a short three hour training program on phonologic awareness can improve reading related skills and neural discrimination of speech sounds in preschoolers.


Can Auditory Therapy Help?


Studies have shown that children with dyslexia who participated in 40 sessions of Earobics had better auditory processing after training demonstrated by speech evoked ABR testing and better on reading related tests of cognitive abilities. The ABR demonstrated improvement in syllable discrimination.

Research on using an FM system  for children with dyslexia has demonstrated that this improvement in access to the auditory signal results in improvement in both reading and neural response consistency. Children with dyslexia who used the FM system were compared to children with dyslexia in the same classroom who did not use the FM system and children with typical development.

After one year, the children who used the FM system had greater gains in reading compared to the children with dyslexia who did not use the FM system and the typically developing children.

Electrophysiologic testing has also demonstrated that both auditory training programs and FM use can improve auditory processing and reading outcomes.

For many years I conducted a program developed in France for children with auditory learning disorders. My research, like all good research, was conducted with an IRB reviewed protocol. Mine was an auditory stimulation program in which children with a variety of auditory disorders (auditory procession, hypersensitivity/sound tolerance) participated. My carefully selecting children who have an identified auditory disorder, I was able to obtain good improvement.

When children are identified with an auditory disorder it is essential that we look at all possible auditory therapies to find one that will provide good benefit.  

About Jane Madell

Jane Madell has a consulting practice in pediatric audiology. She is an audiologist, speech-language pathologist, and LSLS auditory verbal therapist, with a BA from Emerson College and an MA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin. Her 45+ years experience ranges from Deaf Nursery programs to positions at the League for the Hard of Hearing (Director), Long Island College Hospital, Downstate Medical Center, Beth Israel Medical Center/New York Eye and Ear Infirmary as director of the Hearing and Learning Center and Cochlear Implant Center. Jane has taught at the University of Tennessee, Columbia University, Downstate Medical School, and Albert Einstein Medical School, published 7 books, and written numerous books chapters and journal articles, and is a well known international lecturer.


  1. Such interesting information related to FM and auditory based learning disorders. To clarify the FM system was to improve signal to noise? of mild gain? unilateral or bilateral?


    1. FM improves signal to noise. Two hears are critical for good hearing. I fit FM on children with unilateral hearing loss in the classroom also

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