Special Education M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Larson, Susan


The ability to accurately process and interpret auditory information, for individuals with autism spectrum disorder or ‘ASD’, is often difficult. Here we review behavioral, neurophysiological and imaging literature pertaining to this field with the aim of providing a comprehensive account of how auditory processing deficits impact individuals with ASD, in order to develop effective educational tools. Literature was sourced from peer-reviewed journals published over the last two decades which best represents research conducted in these areas. Findings show substantial evidence of atypical processing of auditory information in subjects with ASD at behavioral and neural levels. Abnormalities are diverse, ranging from atypical perception of various low-level perceptual features (i.e. pitch, loudness), to processing of more complex auditory information such as prosody. Trends across studies suggest that auditory processing impairments in individuals with ASD most likely present during processing complex auditory information and are more severe for speech than for non-speech stimuli. The interpretation of these findings, with respect to various cognitive accounts of ASD, is discussed and suggestions offered for further research.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis