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Durham University



Publication details for Professor Deborah Riby

Kirk, H., Gray, K., Riby D. M. & Cornish, K. M. (2015). Cognitive training as a resolution for early executive function difficulties in children with intellectual disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities 38: 145-160.

Author(s) from Durham


Core executive functions (EF) such as attention, and working memory have been strongly associated with academic achievement, language development and behavioral stability. In the case of children who are vulnerable to cognitive and learning problems because of an underlying intellectual disability, EF difficulties will likely exacerbate an already compromised cognitive system. The current review examines cognitive training programs that aim to improve EF, specifically focusing on the potential of this type of intervention for children who have intellectual disabilities. We conclude that despite considerable discrepancies regarding reported intervention effects, these inconsistencies can be attributed to flaws in both program and study design. We discuss the steps needed to address these limitations and to facilitate the advancement of non-pharmaceutical interventions for children with intellectual disabilities.

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