Numerical and Arithmetical Cognition: A Longitudinal Study of Process and Concept Deficits in Children with Learning Disability

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Based on the stability and level of performance on standard achievement tests in first and second grade (mean age in first grade = 82 months), children with IQ scores in the low-average to high-average range were classified as learning disabled (LD) in mathematics (MD), reading (RD), or both (MD/RD). These children (n = 42), a group of children who showed variable achievement test performance across grades (n = 16), and a control group of academically normal peers (n = 35) were administered a series of experimental and psychometric tasks. The tasks assessed number comprehension and production skills, counting knowledge, arithmetic skills, working memory, the ease of activation of phonetic representations of words and numbers, and spatial abilities. The children with variable achievement test performance did not differ from the academically normal children in any cognitive domain, whereas the children in the LD groups showed specific patterns of cognitive deficit, above and beyond the influence of IQ. Discussion focuses on the similarities and differences across the groups of LD children.

Keywords: arithmetic; counting; learning disabilities; mathematical disabilities; number; reading disabilities

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Missouri

Publication date: November 1, 2000

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