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This paper examines the relations between temporal processing and reading performance by comparing the performance of 38 children with learning impairments (LI) to 32 age-matched, typically developing subjects (controls) on these tasks. Subjects were tested on four auditory and four visual temporal processing tasks, and four language/reading tasks. Subjects in the LI group were also tested for auditory processing disorder (APD). Kruskal-Wallis tests and Spearman correlation coefficients were used to evaluate the differences and relations between group test scores (alpha = 0.05, Bonferroni corrected). LI subjects performed more poorly than controls on reading and phonological awareness tasks, as well as on the subset of temporal processing tasks that required the relative timing of two stimulus events. There was a trend for performance on language/reading and several auditory temporal processing tasks to drop from control subjects, to those with LI alone, to those with both APD and LI. Scores on a subset of relative timing tasks were positively correlated with reading scores for controls, but not LI subjects. The results suggest that relative timing judgements of auditory and visual stimuli, rather than the identification of a single, brief stimulus event, may play a key role in reading development.


Journal article


Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

Publication Date





6 - 17