Children With Specific Language Impairment and Resolved Late Talkers: Working Memory Profiles at 5 Years PurposeThe evidence of a deficit in working memory in specific language impairment (SLI) is of sufficient magnitude to suggest a primary role in developmental language disorder. However, little research has investigated memory in late talkers who recover from their early delay. Drawing on a longitudinal, community sample, this study compared ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2012
Children With Specific Language Impairment and Resolved Late Talkers: Working Memory Profiles at 5 Years
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nadia Petruccelli
    La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Lesley Bretherton
    Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne
  • Correspondence to Edith L. Bavin: e.bavin@latrobe.edu.au
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Marc Joanisse
    Associate Editor: Marc Joanisse×
Article Information
Special Populations / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language
Article   |   December 01, 2012
Children With Specific Language Impairment and Resolved Late Talkers: Working Memory Profiles at 5 Years
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2012, Vol. 55, 1690-1703. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0288)
History: Received October 27, 2011 , Accepted April 5, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2012, Vol. 55, 1690-1703. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0288)
History: Received October 27, 2011; Accepted April 5, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 12

PurposeThe evidence of a deficit in working memory in specific language impairment (SLI) is of sufficient magnitude to suggest a primary role in developmental language disorder. However, little research has investigated memory in late talkers who recover from their early delay. Drawing on a longitudinal, community sample, this study compared the memory profiles of 3 groups of 5-year-olds: children with SLI who had been identified as late talkers, resolved late talkers (RLTs), and children with typical language development (TLD).

MethodParticipants were 25 children with SLI, 45 RLTs, and 32 children with TLD. Subtests from the Working Memory Test Battery for Children and the Children’s Memory Scale plus recalling sentences and nonword repetition tasks were administered to test the components of Baddeley’s working memory model.

ResultsThe SLI group showed significantly poorer performance than the RLT and TLD groups on measures of the phonological loop and episodic buffer. The RLT and TLD groups scored similarly on all memory measures.

ConclusionsThe results support previous findings that sentence recall and nonword repetition are markers of SLI. Although residual effects of late-talking status may emerge over time, RLTs do not necessarily show memory deficits at 5 years of age despite delayed early vocabulary development.

Acknowledgments
We would like to acknowledge the members of the ELVS team, the National Health and Medical Research Council for research funding, and the support from the Victorian Government’s Operational Infrastructure Support Program. The first author was supported by a La Trobe University Postgraduate Research Scholarship.
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