Mathematical development in spina bifida

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Abstract

Spina bifida (SB) is a neural tube defect diagnosed before or at birth that is associated with a high incidence of math disability often without co-occurring difficulties in reading. SB provides an interesting population within which to examine the development of mathematical abilities and disability across the lifespan and in relation to the deficits in visual-spatial processing that are also associated with the disorder. An overview of math and its cognitive correlates in preschoolers, school-age children and adults with SB is presented including the findings from a longitudinal study linking early executive functions in infancy to the development of later preschool and school age math skills. These findings are discussed in relation to socio-historical perspectives on math education and implications for intervention and directions for further research are presented. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Dev Disabil Res Rev 2009;15:28–34.

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