Tutorial  |   February 2010
Working Memory and Specific Language Impairment: An Update on the Relation and Perspectives on Assessment and Treatment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mianisha C. Finney
    Ohio University, Athens
  • Contact author: James Montgomery, Ohio University—Hearing, Speech & Language Sciences, Grover Center W218, Athens, OH 45701-2959. E-mail: montgoj1@ohio.edu.
  • © 2010 American Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Tutorial
Tutorial   |   February 2010
Working Memory and Specific Language Impairment: An Update on the Relation and Perspectives on Assessment and Treatment
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2010, Vol. 19, 78-94. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2009/09-0028)
History: Received April 11, 2009 , Accepted September 27, 2009
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2010, Vol. 19, 78-94. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2009/09-0028)
History: Received April 11, 2009; Accepted September 27, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 52

Purpose: Children with specific language impairment (SLI) demonstrate significant language impairments despite normal-range hearing and nonverbal IQ. Many of these children also show marked deficits in working memory (WM) abilities. However, the theoretical and clinical characterization of the association between WM and language limitations in SLI is still sparse. Our understanding of this association would benefit greatly from an updated and thorough review of the literature.

Method: We review the newest developments in these areas from both a theoretical and clinical perspective. Our intent is to provide researchers and practicing clinicians (a) a conceptual framework within which the association between WM and language limitations of children with SLI can be understood and (b) potentially helpful suggestions for assessing and treating the memory-language difficulties of children with SLI.

Conclusions: In the past 10 years, important new theoretical insights into the range and nature of WM deficits and relation between these limitations and the language difficulties in SLI have occurred. New, robust diagnostic assessment tools and computerized treatment methods designed to enhance children’s WM functioning have also been developed. The assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the language difficulties in SLI should consider the potential influence of WM.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access