How Memory Works in Children with Asperger’s Syndrome


In the recent years Asperger’s syndrome has sparked the curiosity of many scientists studying Autism Spectrum Disorders. Multiple studies have been performed on patients with AS specifically focusing on their working memory. Working memory is a limited amount of information used over short periods of time to keep behavior continual and plan complex responses to stimuli. Working memory is a necessity to executive function. Asperger’s Syndrome interests me because; I have to care for several children with the syndrome this summer.

The scientist observed and read other journals pertaining to the topic of Working Memory in AS patients. Many of the journals concluded to different theories. The scientists determined that the reasons for all of the different theories were the age and IQ differences among the participants in the studies. I agree that this is the determined problem in the other studies. He hypothesized that if the control group and independent variable group were consistently the same age and IQ that in working memory the AS children would do well in span tasks, n-back tasks, and digit conditions. The children would not do well in visual or spatial storage tasks, and location conditions. Also if the children could use verbal cues, they would do well in controls if they could not they would show impairment. In addition to the above the scientists hypothesized that working memory had a larger influence in abilities of AS children. The scientists chose children between the ages of 6.25 and 8.42. The 3 children I care for are all in between the ages of 6 and 8. The study was done on children similar to the ones I interact with everyday. I believe that I truly understand the study because; I experience the children’s performance every day. I also would have probably hypothesized the same as the scientists because I easily see that the AS children I work with have a harder time with grasping visual tasks than understanding verbal tasks. The scientists used the AS children as the independent variable in the study and the normal children as the control group. They prepared eight different measures of working memory in the form of a test for the children. They proposed to the children that the tests were a form of a game so the children wouldn’t lose interest easily. The test was distributed in the hospital for the independent variable group and in a school for the control group. I feel that the scientist should have tested the children all in one room with a consistent temperature. I think that the different environments affected the outcome of the study. Also, I believe that the children should have been told that it was a test so that they would have taken the measures seriously when completing them.

The results showed that children with AS perform better with verbal tasks dealing with working memory than with visual/spatial tasks. The results supported the scientists hypotheses and proved that children with AS develop working memory differently than average children. With my experience I felt positive that this would be the outcome to this study. This article has interested and helped me in understanding the working memory development in the children I have been working with. I find this article mostly correct in all results.

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