Long-Term Memory Development and Learning Disability: Storage and Retrieval Loci of Disabled/ Nondisabled Differences
Most research on children with specific learning disabilities has centered on tasks that are rather closely related to the disability being studied. Familiar illustrations include studies of grapheme encoding in reading-disabled children, studies of numeral recognition in arithmetic-disabled children, and studies of syntactical anomalies in language-impaired children. Of late, however, there has been growing interest in potential normal/learning-disabled differences on more general memory and cognition tasks. This trend has both conceptual and empirical implications for the future of learning-disability research. Conceptually, there is at least an implicit denial of the traditional view that a learning-disabled child is someone with otherwise normal intelligence who has an impairment that is highly specific to printed words, oral language, arithmetic, etc. On the empirical side, the expanding data base on more general tasks holds forth the possibility of identifying high-level deficits in memory and cognition that may prove to be responsible for known deficits on more specific tasks.