Research has shown that verbal short-term memory span is shorter in individuals with Down syndrome than in typically developing individuals of equivalent mental age, but little attention has been given to variations within or across groups. Differences in the environment and in particular educational experiences may play a part in the relative ease or difficulty with which children remember verbal material. This article explores the performance of 26 Egyptian pupils with Down syndrome and 26 Egyptian typically developing children on two verbal short-term memory tests: digit recall and non-word repetition tasks. The findings of the study revealed that typically developing children showed superior performance on these tasks to that of pupils with Down syndrome, whose performance was both lower and revealed a narrower range of attainment. Comparisons with the performance of children with Down syndrome in this study suggested that not only did the children with Down syndrome perform more poorly than the typically developing children, their profile also appeared worse than the results of studies of children with a similar mental age with Down syndrome carried out in western countries. The results from this study suggested that, while deficits in verbal short-term memory in Down syndrome may well be universal, it is important to recognise that performances may vary as a consequence of culture and educational experiences. The significance of these findings is explored with reference to approaches to education and how these are conceptualised in relation to children with disabilities.
|Number of pages
|International Journal of Disability Development and Education
|Published - Dec 2010