It’s another FREE clinical forum from ASHA! Huzzah!
This time* it’s on Working Memory in School-Age Children—a hot topic that many of us have been needing some guidance on. The issue included three original research articles as well as the review and “clinical focus” pieces mentioned below; they did not meet TISLP’s criteria for review, but you can find them here.
If you need a brief refresher on what working memory (WM) is and how it relates to language learning, give Gillam’s introduction a peek. Adams et al. offer a much deeper dive into the theory, if that’s your thing.
If you read one piece from this collection, make it Singer & Bashir’s. This article synthesizes five big takeaways for clinicians and is very readable. The first principle they discuss boils down to: “brain training” games don’t work. All that time I spent playing Lumosity games in like 2013? Yeah—it made me really good at those games, but the effects didn’t generalize to make me magically better at anything in my real life. Humph. (For a more detailed breakdown of this point, check out the article by Gillam et al. about the “Andon Rope.” It starts with some pretty sassy commentary about the search for quick-fixes to complex problems, in our field and others, before diving into the science.) After getting this “Don’t” out of the way, Singer & Bashir go on to describe four “Dos” that can shape your practice with students who have working memory issues.
Finally, Archibald’s article has some helpful thoughts for clinicians on considering working memory and linguistic demands in your assessment tasks. Make this #2 on your “tell-me-what-I-need-to-know” reading list.
Adams, E. J., Nguyen, A. T., & Cowan, N. (2018). Theories of Working Memory: Differences in Definition, Degree of Modularity, Role of Attention, and Purpose. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49(3), 340–355.
Archibald, L. M. D. (2018). The Reciprocal Influences of Working Memory and Linguistic Knowledge on Language Performance: Considerations for the Assessment of Children With Developmental Language Disorder. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49(3), 424–433.
Gillam, S., Holbrook, S., Mecham, J., & Weller, D. (2018). Pull the Andon Rope on Working Memory Capacity Interventions Until We Know More. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49(3), 434–448.
Singer, B. D., & Bashir, A. S. (2018). Wait…What??? Guiding Intervention Principles for Students With Verbal Working Memory Limitations. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49(3), 449–462.
*If you missed the forum on fluency a few months ago, and that topic is relevant to your practice, be sure to check it out, or at least bookmark it for another time.