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ERIC Number: EJ812583
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0161-1461
Verbal Working Memory and Story Retelling in School-Age Children with Autism
Gabig, Cheryl Smith
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, v39 n4 p498-511 Oct 2008
Purpose: This study examined verbal working memory and language ability in 15 school-age children with autism using 3 verbal working memory tasks and 1 story recall task. Method: Three measures of verbal working memory--nonword repetition, memory for digits span, and sentence imitation--were given to children with autism and age-matched controls. Verbal working memory measures were chosen to reflect increasing levels of cognitive-linguistic complexity. Story retelling was measured using "The Renfrew Bus Story" (J. Cowley & C. Glasgow, 1994) and was scored for the percentage of propositions recalled and the average utterance length. Results: A profile of verbal working memory deficits was seen in children with autism, with poorer performance on more complex verbal memory tasks. Performance on the 3 verbal memory tasks was independent of articulation ability. For the group with autism, receptive vocabulary was associated with sentence imitation and story recall but not with nonword repetition or digits span. Sentence imitation was related to story recall, but the relationship disappeared when the effect of vocabulary was removed. Conclusions: Vocabulary and language processing demands affect the performance of children with autism on tasks of verbal memory and story retelling. Results are viewed within a "connectionist" framework of verbal working memory.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A