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Short-term memory and vocabulary development in children with Down syndrome and children with specific language impairment

  • Rachel F Hick (a1), Nicola Botting (a1) and Gina Conti-Ramsden (a1)
Abstract

A longitudinal comparison was made between development of verbal and visuo-spatial short-term memory and vocabulary in children with Down syndrome (DS), children with specific language impairment (SLI), and typically developing children as a control group. Participants were 12 children with DS (6 males, 6 females; mean chronological age 9y 9mo [SD 2.8mo], range 8y 6mo to 11y 4mo); nine children with SLI (4 males, 5 females; mean chronological age 3y 9mo [SD 4.8mo], range 3y 3mo to 4y 5mo); and 12 typically developing children (5 males, 7 females; mean chronological age 4y 4mo [SD 3.9mo], range 3y 3mo to 4y 3mo). Participants were matched on mental age (mean mental age 4y 3mo). All participants completed verbal short-term memory, visuo-spatial short-term memory, and expressive and receptive vocabulary tasks on three occasions over 1 year. Similarities were seen in the clinical groups for verbal short-term memory. There was some evidence of difficulty in visuo-spatial short-term memory in the children with SLI relative to the other groups, but all three groups showed overlap in visuo-spatial short-term memory performance. At the final time-point vocabulary performance in the clinical groups was similar; the typically developing children showed higher vocabulary abilities than both clinical groups.

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Corresponding author
School of Psychological Sciences, Human Communication and Deafness, Humanities Building, Devas Street, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. E-mail: gina.conti-ramsden@man.ac.uk
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Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology
  • ISSN: 0012-1622
  • EISSN: 1469-8749
  • URL: /core/journals/developmental-medicine-and-child-neurology
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