Assessment and Treatment of Working Memory Deficits in School-Age Children: The Role of the Speech-Language Pathologist Purpose To review research addressing the relationship of working memory (WM) to language development and academic functioning and to consider the role of the speech-language pathologist (SLP) in assessment and intervention of WM difficulties in school-age children. Method Aspects of WM critical to language acquisition and academic success ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2011
Assessment and Treatment of Working Memory Deficits in School-Age Children: The Role of the Speech-Language Pathologist
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Donna Boudreau
    aUniversity of Northern Colorado, Greeley
  • Amy Costanza-Smith
    bOregon Health Sciences University, Portland
  • Correspondence to Donna M. Boudreau: donna.boudreau@unco.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Shari Robertson
    Associate Editor: Shari Robertson×
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2011
Assessment and Treatment of Working Memory Deficits in School-Age Children: The Role of the Speech-Language Pathologist
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2011, Vol. 42, 152-166. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2010/09-0088)
History: Received December 16, 2009 , Revised May 15, 2010 , Accepted October 15, 2010
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2011, Vol. 42, 152-166. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2010/09-0088)
History: Received December 16, 2009; Revised May 15, 2010; Accepted October 15, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 8

Purpose To review research addressing the relationship of working memory (WM) to language development and academic functioning and to consider the role of the speech-language pathologist (SLP) in assessment and intervention of WM difficulties in school-age children.

Method Aspects of WM critical to language acquisition and academic success are defined, and the importance of WM to language development and learning is discussed. Subsequently, strategies for assessing WM skills in children are presented. Following a discussion regarding the assessment of WM demands in the classroom, intervention strategies are provided.

Results Children with poor WM skills are likely to experience significant difficulty in academic settings. Evidence-based strategies for both reducing WM demands and improving functional WM skills are reviewed.

Conclusion Research to date has documented that children with language impairments frequently have poor WM skills. SLPs can support poor WM skills by considering both modifications to the environment and child-enacted knowledge and skills, which may serve to reduce the impact of poor WM skills on learning and academic success.

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