ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Commun Sci Disord. 2012;17(3): 451-465.
The Performance on Working Memory Span Task in Children with High-Function Autism
Heejin Kim` , and Dongsun Yim`
Copyright ©2012 The Korean Academy of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
김희진(Heejin Kim)| 임동선(Dongsun Yim)
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ABSTRACT

Background & Objectives
The present study investigated first, how children with high-function autism (HFA) perform on working memory tasks compared to typically developing (TD) children, and second, how language skills (Korea sentence comprehension test score, KOSECT) correlate with working memory.
Methods
The study included children between 7 and 9 years of age, 15 with HFA, and 15 TD. The experiments consisted of 3 working memory span tasks: Competing Language Processing Task (CLPT), Counting span, and Matrix. The working memory span tasks consisted of different levels of complexity; 1) CLPT: 6 levels, 2) Counting span: 5 levels, 3) Matrix: 4 levels. Two-way mixed ANOVA was used to analyze the data.
Results
The results were as follows: (1) There were significant differences between the 2 groups on CLPT (Yes/No) task, showing that children with HFA had lower accuracy than TD children. (2) There were significant differences among complexities within tasks. (3) No interaction effects were found between group and complexity conditions. (4) There was significant correlation between KOSECT score and CLPT recall accuracy in TD children. However, in children with HFA, Counting span accuracy and Matrix accuracy significantly correlated with KOSECT score.
Discussion & Conclusion
The study results show that children with HFA had difficulty in sentence processing while their performance was similar to TD children on working memory span tasks.
Keywords: 고기능 자폐아동 | 작업기억 | 구문의미이해력 | high-function autism (HFA) | working memory
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