Emergence of working memory in children using aided communication

Janice Murray (Speech and Language Therapist at the Research Institute for Health and Social Change, Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Juliet Goldbart (Psychologist at the Research Institute for Health and Social Change, Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)

Journal of Assistive Technologies

ISSN: 1754-9450

Publication date: 9 December 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Working memory (WM) is a key component of effective and efficient communication in typical communicators, with, potentially, even greater significance for those who benefit from augmentative communication. This study aims to explore the emergence of WM strategies in children with complex communication needs who may be reliant on aided communication strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

A quasi‐experimental repeated measures, multi‐factorial research design, comparing 30 children with complex communication needs (CCN) aged three to six years and 30 age‐matched typically developing peers. Picture stimuli representing verbs and adjectives in three categories: control words, long words and phonologically similar words are presented visually or silently in sequences of increasing length to establish each participant's memory span.

Findings

Articulatory rehearsal does not appear to be used as a memory strategy with verb material. With adjective material, there is limited evidence of emerging articulatory rehearsal at age six. Input modality does not influence rehearsal of either verbs or adjectives.

Research limitations/implications

The study is small scale and exploratory, but there are suggestions that both groups of participants handle verb and adjective material differently to noun material.

Practical implications

Emerging WM skill in children with CCN needs to be considered in relation to the use of speech generating technology.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to understanding of the development and potential influence of WM in efficient aided communication.

Keywords

Citation

Murray, J. and Goldbart, J. (2011), "Emergence of working memory in children using aided communication", Journal of Assistive Technologies, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 214-232. https://doi.org/10.1108/17549451111190623

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.