PURPOSE: The study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of auditory brainstem response(ABR) as a screening tool in children with speech and language disorders. METHODS: Between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2001, 139 patients with chief complaints of speech and language delay were recruited from the pediatric neurology clinic, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu, Korea. They had ABR on entry and the clinical data were then analyzed. RESULTS: Fifteen out of 139 cases(10.8%) showed abnormal findings; seven had pervasive developmental disorders, four had developmental language disorders, and four were noted to have other conditions. Among them, seven cases were noted to have conductive hearing loss and eight had sensoryneuronal hearing loss. We also evaluated the normal values in children at the ages of 18 months to seven years. The mean latency of wave I and V were 1.40+/-0.13 and 5.57+/-0.26 respectively. Interpeak latency of I-V was 4.18+/-0.24. CONCLUSION: Based on these findings, ABR has proved to be a highly sensitive and specific index of hearing impairment. It should be used as a screening tool in children with speech and language disorders.