Danielsson, Henrik; Henry, Lucy; Messer, David and Rönnberg, Jerker
Strengths and weaknesses in executive functioning in children with intellectual disability.
Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33(2),
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Children with intellectual disability (ID) were given a comprehensive range of executive functioning measures, which systematically varied in terms of verbal and non-verbal demands. Their performance was compared to the performance of groups matched on mental age (MA) and chronological age (CA), respectively. Twenty-two children were included in each group. Children with ID performed on par with the MA group on switching, verbal executive-loaded working memory and most fluency tasks, but below the MA group on inhibition, planning, and non-verbal executive-loaded working memory. Children with ID performed below CA comparisons on all the executive tasks. We suggest that children with ID have a specific profile of executive functioning, with MA appropriate abilities to generate new exemplars (fluency) and to switch attention between tasks, but difficulties with respect to inhibiting pre-potent responses, planning, and non-verbal executive-loaded working memory The development of different types of executive functioning skills may, to different degrees, be related to mental age and experience.
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