Tasks assessing perception of a phonemic contrast based on voice onset time (VOT) and a nonspeech analog of a VOT contrast using tone onset time (TOT) were administered to children (ages 7.5 to 15.9 years) identified as having reading disability (RD; n = 21), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; n = 22), comorbid RD and ADHD (n = 26), or no impairment (NI; n = 26). Children with RD, whether they had been identified as having ADHD or not, exhibited reduced perceptual skills on both tasks as indicated by shallower slopes on category labeling functions and reduced accuracy even at the end-points of the series where cues are most salient. Correlations between performance on the VOT task and measures of single word decoding and phonemic awareness were significant only in the groups without ADHD. These findings suggest that (a) children with RD have difficulty in processing speech and nonspeech stimuli containing similar auditory temporal cues, (b) phoneme perception is related to phonemic awareness and decoding skills, and (c) the potential presence of ADHD needs to be taken into account in studies of perception in children with RD.
- Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
- Speech perception
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology