Van Rooijen, M., Verhoeven, L., Smits, D. W, Dallmeijer, A. J, Becher, J. G & Steenbergen, B. (2014). Cognitive precursors of arithmetic development in primary school children with cerebral palsy. Research in Developmental Disabilities,35(4), 826-832. United Kingdom: Pergamon Press. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2014.01.016
The aim of this study was to examine the development of arithmetic performance and its cognitive precursors in children with CP from 7 till 9 years of age. Previous research has shown that children with CP are generally delayed in arithmetic performance compared to their typically developing peers. In children with CP, the developmental trajectory of the ability to solve addition- and subtraction tasks has, however, rarely been studied, as well as the cognitive factors affecting this trajectory. Sixty children (M = 7.2 years, SD = .23 months at study entry) with CP participated in this study. Standardized tests were administered to assess arithmetic performance, word decoding skills, non-verbal intelligence, and working memory. The results showed that the ability to solve addition- and subtraction tasks increased over a two year period. Word decoding skills were positively related to the initial status of arithmetic performance. In addition, non-verbal intelligence and working memory were associated with the initial status and growth rate of arithmetic performance from 7 till 9 years of age. The current study highlights the importance of non-verbal intelligence and working memory to the development of arithmetic performance of children with CP.
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