Investigation of Listening Comprehension Difficulties in Children with Developmental Disorders

Project Leader
FUJINO Hiroshi (Tokyo Gakugei University)

Summary

Listening comprehension encompasses multiple processes such as recognizing speech sounds, understanding the meaning of individual words, and understanding the syntax of sentences in which they are presented. Listening comprehension of sentences and discourse appears to be a challenge for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, the background of such difficulties is not well understood. Our aim in this study is to examine the nature of such difficulties and identify the possible causes. Recent studies indicate that high-functioning children with ASD have enhanced perceptual processing of speech that may compromise higher-level language processing. In this study, therefore, we will first investigate the characteristics of such enhanced speech processing in Japanese children with ASD and then examine exactly how their specific style of speech processing influences their understanding of higher-level structures such as sentences and discourse.