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Cognitive training as a resolution for early executive function difficulties in children with intellectual disabilities.

Kirk, H. and Gray, K. and Riby, D. M. and Cornish, K. M. (2015) 'Cognitive training as a resolution for early executive function difficulties in children with intellectual disabilities.', Research in developmental disabilities., 38 . pp. 145-160.


Core executive functions (EF) such as attention, and working memory have been strongly associated with academic achievement, language development and behavioral stability. In the case of children who are vulnerable to cognitive and learning problems because of an underlying intellectual disability, EF difficulties will likely exacerbate an already compromised cognitive system. The current review examines cognitive training programs that aim to improve EF, specifically focusing on the potential of this type of intervention for children who have intellectual disabilities. We conclude that despite considerable discrepancies regarding reported intervention effects, these inconsistencies can be attributed to flaws in both program and study design. We discuss the steps needed to address these limitations and to facilitate the advancement of non-pharmaceutical interventions for children with intellectual disabilities.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Executive function, Attention, Working memory, Intellectual disability, Cognitive training, Children.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Research in Developmental Disabilities. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Research in Developmental Disabilities, 38, March 2015, 10.1016/j.ridd.2014.12.026.
Date accepted:15 December 2014
Date deposited:07 September 2015
Date of first online publication:02 January 2015
Date first made open access:No date available

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