Conductive hearing loss in autistic, learning-disabled, and normal children

J Autism Dev Disord. 1988 Mar;18(1):53-65. doi: 10.1007/BF02211818.


Katz (1978) has suggested that mild, fluctuating conductive hearing loss due to middle-ear anomalies may account for the language and attention problems of learning-disabled children. His position was extended here to include autism. Normal, learning-disabled, and autistic children received repeated impedance measures over 5 weeks. A repeated-measures ANOVA of central tendency and variability values led to the conclusions that (1) fluctuating, negative middle-ear pressure greater than normal characterizes both autistic and learning-disabled children, (2) the negative pressure is greater in autistic than in learning-disabled children, and (3) the condition is typically bilateral for autistic children.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Impedance Tests
  • Adolescent
  • Autistic Disorder / complications*
  • Autistic Disorder / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss / complications*
  • Hearing Loss, Conductive / complications*
  • Hearing Loss, Conductive / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Learning Disabilities / complications*
  • Learning Disabilities / physiopathology
  • Male