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Reading difficulty in children: auditory and visual modalities’ affection



Many research studies have explained that an auditory processing deficit might be the underlying cause for some forms of reading difficulties. However, deficits affecting other modalities, such as vision might be the other potential contributing factor.


This research investigated both central auditory processing abilities and the visual pathway in children having scholastic underachievement due to reading difficulties.

Patients and method

The study group consisted of 15 children (eight male and seven female) between the age of 5 and 15 years. They had scholastic underachievement due reading difficulties. All children were subjected to a standardized Arabic central auditory test battery for children. It included tests for selective auditory attention, dichotic listening, memory, and temporal processing abilities. Other tests that were administered included electrophysiologic measures, auditory event-related potentials (P300), and visual-evoked potential (P100), as well as the Illinois test of psycholinguistic abilities and screening test for risk for dyslexia to verify reading complains and to assess psycholinguistic abilities.


Central auditory test battery that was accompanied by abnormal auditory event-related potentials (P300) revealed abnormal pattern mainly affecting temporal processing and memory abilities. However, some children had additional dichotic listening or selective auditory attention deficit. Abnormal visual-evoked potential (P100) was detected in the majority of children. The Illinois test revealed visual pattern affection in those children.


Children with reading difficulties had temporal processing disorder and memory deficit pattern. Furthermore, there was an association between visual affection and reading difficulty that supports multimodality affection in those children. Hence, the remediation program for these children should include both auditory and visual modalities.


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Correspondence to Rasha H. Elkabariti.

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Shalaby, A.A., Khalil, L.H., Elkabariti, R.H. et al. Reading difficulty in children: auditory and visual modalities’ affection. Egypt J Otolaryngol 33, 89–93 (2017).

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  • central auditory processing
  • dyslexia
  • reading difficulty
  • visual-evoked potentials