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J Exp Child Psychol. 1999 Nov;74(3):213-39.

Numerical and arithmetical cognition: patterns of functions and deficits in children at risk for a mathematical disability.

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  • 1University of Missouri, Columbia 65211-2500, USA.


Based on performance on standard achievement tests, first-grade children (mean age = 82 months) with IQ scores in the low-average to high-average range were classified as at risk for a learning disability (LD) in mathematics, reading, or both. These at-risk children (n = 55) and a control group of academically normal peers (n = 35) were administered experimental tasks that assessed number comprehension and production skills, counting knowledge, arithmetic skills, working memory, and ease of retrieving information from long-term memory. Different patterns of intact cognitive functions and deficits were found for children in the different at-risk groups. As a set, performance on the experimental tasks accounted for roughly 50% and 10% of the group differences in mathematics and reading achievement, respectively, above and beyond the influence of IQ. Performance on the experimental tasks thus provides insights into the cognitive deficits underlying different forms of LD, as well as into the sources of individual differences in academic achievement.

Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

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