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Improving the working memory of students with down syndrome through a cognitive intervention program

Yusoff, Shaznee Iryana (2017) Improving the working memory of students with down syndrome through a cognitive intervention program. PhD thesis, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

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Abstract

Individuals with Down syndrome (DS) experience delays in the development of their motor, social, personal, language, speech and cognitive skills. These individuals have the ability to perceive information accurately even though they have limited memory span, and are incapable of manipulating this information. These problems in their thinking and learning are related to mental abilities. These reflect incompetency in their working memory, and this gap exists in students with DS. Furthermore, teachers in special education classrooms in Malaysia do not emphasize the role of working memory to enhance learning. This study investigated the effectiveness of a cognitive intervention program designed as a more specific and systematic method of teaching to facilitate working memory in children and adolescents with DS. This study adopted a quasi-experimental research design with pre- and post-tests. Forty children and adolescents with DS, aged 6-14 years old from seven primary schools within Kuala Lumpur were selected and equally divided into experimental and control group. Pre- and post-tests given were based on the Automated Working Memory Assessment (AWMA). A 12 week cognitive intervention program of 30 minutes per day for 5 times per week was carried out by teachers at the respective schools for the experimental group. After the intervention, the mean scores of all AWMA components (Verbal Short Term Memory, Visuo- Spatial Short Term Memory, Verbal Working Memory and Visuo-Spatial Working Memory) in the experimental group increased. On the other hand, there was a slight decrease in the mean scores of Verbal Short Term Memory and Visuo-Spatial Short Term Memory of the control group. Wilcoxon signed-rank tests revealed that the experimental group showed significant improvement in all AWMA components after intervention in comparison to the control group. The findings of the cognitive intervention program have shown that it is effective in enhancing the working memory in children with DS. As a conclusion, the program can be used as a feasible working memory intervention within the national special education curriculum.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Down syndrome (DS), special education, Verbal Working Memory
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions:Education
ID Code:81672
Deposited By: Narimah Nawil
Deposited On:10 Sep 2019 09:53
Last Modified:10 Sep 2019 09:53

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