Identification of binaural integration deficits in children with the Competing Words Subtest: Standard score versus interaural asymmetry


The Competing Words Subtest is a commonly used dichotic listening test for assessing binaural integration in children suspected of having an auditory processing disorder. In 124 children, standard scores from the subtest suggested a binaural integration deficit in 23% of the children tested. Because standard scores are derived from the combined scores of both ears during the test, children with normal performance in one ear and weak performance in the other ear may be overlooked. For these children, a measure of interaural asymmetry may be a more sensitive indicator of a binaural integration deficit. When an age-appropriate criterion for interaural asymmetry from the Competing Words Subtest was used, the incidence of a binaural integration deficit increased to 51% of the children tested. Four typical patterns of dichotic listening performance were identified based on results from the two scoring techniques. © 2006 British Society of Audiology, International Society of Audiology, and Nordic Audiological Society.

Publication Title

International Journal of Audiology