How WMQ Affects Learning Disorders

A low Working Memory Quotient is linked to a number of learning disorders including:

  • Dyslexia
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Dyscalculia
  • Specific Language Impairments
  • Development Coordination Disorder

It is important to provide the best intervention possible to give these children all they need to succeed in the classroom. If your child has one of these learning disorders and it has been confirmed by a test, we recommend the Advanced Consultation Option.

In the Advanced Consultation Option, a leading international research psychologist in working memory and learning will review your child’s cognitive profile and offer an analysis of their working memory profile in relation to their performance on any other standardized cognitive test, such as IQ and vocabulary. Our expert will also provide a customized intervention designed to help them with their learning disorder. Click here to find out more about the Advanced Consultation Option.

Read More about Working Memory and Specific Disorders

Working Memory Quotient and Dyslexia

Dyslexia is commonly defined as a difficulty in all areas of literacy, including reading and spelling. Research shows that verbal working memory is one of the factors that contributes to dyslexia. This will means that dyslexics will struggle when learning new words when reading as it is difficult to convert words on a page into sounds. A low verbal working memory quotient in dyslexics also makes it hard to remember and pronounce words with more than one syllable. In the classroom, it can also be difficult for them to follow instructions and or remember simple directions.

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Working Memory Quotient and Dyscalculia

Dyscalculia refers to a specific learning disability in mathematics, despite normal IQ. Dyscalculics struggle with numbers, as well as telling time, left/right orientation, and have a poor sense of direction. Research has suggested that visuo-spatial working memory is specifically linked with mathematical difficulties. This affects an individual’s ability to perform many mathematical computations, including mental arithmetic. It can also affect their sense of direction as dysclaculics often get lost or are easily disoriented. In the classroom, they can often lose things and appear absent-minded.

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Working Memory Quotient and ADD/ADHD

Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (ADD/ADHD) is a condition that can be characterized by short attention span and difficulty inhibiting their spontaneous responses. Studies have found that children with ADD/ADHD have poor verbal and visuo-spatial working memory. A low working memory quotient has been found to contribute to the poor decisions they make in controlling their own behavior. Furthermore, working memory problems in children with ADD/ADHD are also related to problems in reading and math as it impairs their ability to remember information that they just learned.

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Working Memory Quotient and Development Coordination Disorder (DCD)

DCD (also known as ‘dyspraxia’) refers to significant problems in the development of motor coordination that significantly interferes with academic achievement or daily activities. In the classroom, a child with DCD will struggle with fine motor skills like writing and on the playground they will struggle with larger movements like throwing a ball or balance. Research shows that children with DCD have a very low visuo-spatial working memory quotient that affects their classroom performance. In particular, they struggle with math and spatial learning.

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Working Memory Quotient and Specific Language Impairment (SLI)

Specific Language Impairment is the failure to develop language at the usual rate, despite normal IQ, sensory functions, and exposure to language. Common characteristics of children with SLI are difficulty with verb tenses, such as adding –ed to the past tense of a verb, for example, walk: walked. Studies have found that children with SLI struggle in two areas of memory: short-term memory, which affects their ability to learn vocabulary; and verbal working memory, which contributes to their learning difficulties.

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