The Relationship Between Memory Skills (Auditory and Visual) and Reading and Spelling Ability for a Sample of Children with Specific Learning Disabilities

Author(s): Atkins, M. & Tierney, E.

Department: Psychology and Research Departments, COPE Foundation

Key Words: Memory Skills, Reading, Spelling, Specific Learning Difficulties

Reported: Atkins, M. & Tierney, E. (2004) Memory skills and specific learning difficulties. Reach Journal of Special Needs in Ireland, 17(2), 81-92

(29 Jul 2009)
A consistent research finding is that individuals with reading difficulties have difficulty recalling sequences of letters and numbers when presented in an auditory-verbal format. The present study examined the relationship between ASM, VSM, and reading and spelling ability for children with specific learning disabilities. Memory skills were assessed using the Aston Index. Reading ability was measured by the Young Group Reading Test and spelling ability was assessed by the Schonnell Graded Spelling Test. Results of the study noted that a significant positive relationship existed between ASM and reading/spelling ability, i.e. lower scores on ASM were related to lower scores on reading and spelling and consequently higher scores on ASM were related to better developed reading and spelling abilities. This was also the case for VSM. It was interesting to note that while visual sequential memory skills increased with age for the sample studied, this was not the case for auditory sequential memory skills. These results suggest that these children with specific reading/spelling disabilities have particular deficits in auditory memory skills. word count 170

Contact:  Edel Tierney, COPE Foundatin Telephone: 021 4507131 ext 3342 

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