About this blog.

My son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at 24 months. I created this blog to bring meaning to the often-confusing label. Sometimes I have answers. Other times, just more questions.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Another piece of the puzzle...

It's said that those with dyspraxia (which is often comordid with autism) suffer from poor working memory. But what does that even mean? I stumbled upon the relatively new blog of a researcher in the field. She writes:
Working memory is our brain’s ‘post-it note’. We make mental scribbles of bits of information we need to remember and also work with that information. For example, if you were baking a cake that fed only two people, but you had four people coming to dinner, you need working memory to remember the ingredients and to multiply them in your head so that everyone gets a slice. Without it we would be lost literally, we wouldn’t be able to juggle directions in our head to get to that important meeting at a new location and would forget important phone numbers and contacts. Working memory is just as critical for a variety of activities at school, from complex tasks like reading comprehension and mental math, to simple activities such as navigating around the school and taking the right books for homework.
Anecdotally, I've heard that this is the reason why high functioning autistic individuals have difficulty with driving.

It appears there's a correlation between Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) (a term often used interchangeably with dyspraxia) and poor working memory. See, e.g.: Working Memory and Learning in Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder and Specific Language Impairment. It appears that there is also a correlation between DCD and specific language impairment. See, e.g.: Comparing Language Profiles: Children with Specific Language Impairment and Developmental Coordination Disorder. For more information, see Dyspraxia and Working Memory.

My sense is that, with Brad, his motor coordination issues are connected to his cognitive issues. Perhaps the link is working memory. Perhaps it's not. Just another piece of the puzzle to consider.

4 comments:

Quirky Mom said...

Intriguing. I have to think about this more.

Laura said...

I belong to a dyspraxia group, and this is a large part of what they discuss. I'm just trying to wrap my brain around it.

rhemashope said...

So very, very interesting. I never knew about the working memory connection. It totally makes sense to me that Rhema may struggle with this. Thanks for the resources.

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