Practitioner Review: Short-term and working memory impairments in neurodevelopmental disorders: diagnosis and remedial support


Susan E. Gathercole, Department of Psychology, University of Durham, Science Laboratories, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK; Tel: 0191 3343255; Email:


Background:  This article provides an introduction to current models of working and short-term memory, their links with learning, and diagnosis of impairments. The memory impairments associated with a range of neurodevelopmental disorders (Down's syndrome, Williams syndrome, Specific Language Impairment, and attentional deficits) are discussed.

Methods:  Methods of alleviating the adverse consequences of working and short-term memory impairments for learning are identified.

Conclusion:  Impairments of short-term and working memory are associated with learning difficulties that can be substantial, and that can be minimised by appropriate methods of remedial support.