Working Memory Profiles of Children With Dyslexia, Developmental Language Disorder, or Both

Shelley Gray, Annie B. Fox, Samuel Green, Mary Alt, Tiffany P. Hogan, Yaacov Petscher, Nelson Cowan

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    Purpose Compared to children with typical development, children with dyslexia, developmental language disorder (DLD), or both often demonstrate working memory deficits. It is unclear how pervasive the deficits are or whether the deficits align with diagnostic category. The purpose of this study was to determine whether different working memory profiles would emerge on a comprehensive battery of central executive, phonological, visuospatial, and binding working memory tasks and whether these profiles were associated with group membership. Method Three hundred two 2nd graders with typical development, dyslexia, DLD, or dyslexia/DLD completed 13 tasks from the Comprehensive Assessment Battery for Children-Working Memory ( Gray, Alt, Hogan, Green, & Cowan, n.d. ) that assessed central executive, phonological, and visuospatial/attention components of working memory. Results Latent class analyses yielded 4 distinct latent classes: low overall (21%), average with high number updating (30%), average with low number updating (12%), and high overall (37%). Children from each disability group and children from the typically developing group were present in each class. Discussion Findings highlight the importance of knowing an individual child's working memory profile because working memory profiles are not synonymous with learning disabilities diagnosis. Thus, working memory assessments could contribute important information about children's cognitive function over and above typical psychoeducational measures.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1839-1858
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of speech, language, and hearing research : JSLHR
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Jun 19 2019


    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language
    • Speech and Hearing

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