Use of Auditory and Visual Stimulation to Improve Cognitive Abilities in Learning-Disabled Children


  • Ruth Olmstead



Introduction. Learning disabilities (LD) comprise cognitive
deficits in executive functioning which include working memory,
encoding, visual-motor coordination, planning, and information processing. This study examined the effects of auditory and visual stimulation (AVS) on four specific cognitive abilities in children diagnosed with LD who demonstrated low and below average scores on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Third Edition (WISC-III) Symbol Search, Coding, Arithmetic, and Digit Span (SCAD) profile to determine if such a treatment intervention could improve these specific cognitive weaknesses. Methods. The WISC-III SCAD profile was administered pre- and post-12, biweekly 35-minute AVS sessions. Two index scores from the SCAD profile were also assessed: Freedom from Distractibility and Processing Speed. The study design was quasi-experimental, with repeated
measures pre- and post-treatment. Results. Findings demonstrated that AVS produced significant changes in all of the specific cognitive abilities as measured by the WISC-III SCAD profile, suggesting that AVS may benefit children with LD. Discussion. AVS technology has the potential to greatly enhance cognitive abilities and quality of life for the learning-disabled individual who may be at risk for social, psychological, and a multitude of personal disappointments and life-long failures without such intervention.