Assessment and treatment of working memory deficits in school-age children: The role of the speech-language pathologist

Donna Boudreau, Amy Costanza-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose: To review research addressing the relationship of working memory (WM) to language development and academic functioning and to consider the role of the speechlanguage pathologist (SLP) in assessment and intervention of WM difficulties in school-age children. Method: Aspects of WM critical to language acquisition and academic success are defined, and the importance of WM to language development and learning is discussed. Subsequently, strategies for assessing WM skills in children are presented. Following a discussion regarding the assessment of WM demands in the classroom, intervention strategies are provided. Results: Children with poor WM skills are likely to experience significant difficulty in academic settings. Evidence-based strategies for both reducing WM demands and improving functional WM skills are reviewed. Conclusion: Research to date has documented that children with language impairments frequently have poor WM skills. SLPs can support poor WM skills by considering both modifications to the environment and child-enacted knowledge and skills, which may serve to reduce the impact of poor WM skills on learning and academic success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-166
Number of pages15
JournalLanguage, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Language assessment
  • Language impairment
  • Language intervention
  • Phonological memory
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment and treatment of working memory deficits in school-age children: The role of the speech-language pathologist'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this