Using visual strategies to support verbal comprehension in an adolescent with Down syndrome


  • Lecas Jean-François
  • Mazaud Anne-Marie
  • Reibel Esther
  • Rey Arnaud

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It has been frequently reported that children with Down syndrome have deficits in verbal short-term memory while having relatively good performance in visual short-term memory tasks. Such verbal deficits have a detrimental effect on various high-level cognitive processes, most notably language comprehension. In this study, we report the case of an adolescent with Down syndrome whose verbal short-term memory and comprehension capacities are impaired. Noting that his visual memory remained relatively well preserved, we developed a remediation strategy based on his visual abilities to support his verbal memory deficit. This remediation led to significant improvements in verbal short-term memories of story and thematic units as well as in overall story comprehension. These results are consistent with recent findings suggesting that deficits in verbal short-term memory can be compensated by efficient visual memory abilities.

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