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Working memory in children with developmental disorders

Rajendran, Gnanathusharan and Alloway, Tracy Packiam and Archibald, Lisa M.D. (2009) Working memory in children with developmental disorders. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 42 (4). pp. 372-382. ISSN 0022-2194

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Abstract

The aim of the present study was to directly compare working memory skills across students with different developmental disorders to investigate whether the uniqueness of their diagnosis would impact memory skills. The authors report findings confirming differential memory profiles on the basis of the following developmental disorders: Specific Language Impairment, Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and Asperger syndrome (AS). Specifically, language impairments were associated with selective deficits in verbal short-term and working memory, whereas motor impairments (DCD) were associated with selective deficits in visuospatial short-term and working memory. Children with attention problems were impaired in working memory in both verbal and visuospatial domains, whereas the children with AS had deficits in verbal short-term memory but not in any other memory component. The implications of these findings are discussed in light of support for learning.