Twenty-five studies (912 children) were included in the review. The quality of exploratory studies ranged from 1 to 5 out of 6; the quality of efficacy studies ranged from 2 to 7 out of 7. Methodological weaknesses were largely connected with blinding, treatment fidelity and sampling/allocation.
Outcomes for children with auditory processing disorder, with or without spoken language disorder (six studies: four exploratory, two efficacy; 121 children):
In children who received traditional listening treatments, one poorer quality efficacy study and three exploratory studies reported positive auditory outcomes; another exploratory study found mixed results for written language outcomes. No differences were found between auditory integration training and controls on a range of behavioural and physiological variables (one efficacy study). There were improvements in auditory outcomes, and mixed results for spoken language measures, following the Fast ForWord intervention (two exploratory studies).
Outcomes for children with spoken language disorder (nineteen studies: 12 exploratory, seven efficacy; 566 children):
For auditory outcomes following Fast ForWord interventions, one efficacy study showed a significant improvement in syllable sequencing and four exploratory studies found some positive effects in favour of the intervention. Mixed results were reported from five efficacy studies of Fast ForWord in terms of language or phonology outcomes. This intervention produced one or more positive language or phonology outcome in six exploratory studies, but the overall results were mixed (some negative outcomes were reported). Two efficacy studies showed large gains in phonological awareness, but the gains could not be attributed directly to the Fast ForWord intervention. There were no significant group differences in written language outcomes following Fast ForWord, Earobics, and Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes interventions (one efficacy study; two exploratory studies). There was no convincing evidence favouring an intervention similar to Fast ForWord (language oriented with acoustic modifications) in two efficacy studies measuring auditory processing and phonological tasks. In a case study, the child who received auditory discrimination training showed no gains in language outcomes.