A Critique of: Cognitive Risk Factors for Specific Learning Disorder: Processing Speed, Temporal Processing, and Working Memory

Many individuals affected with Reading Disorders (RD), are also affected by Math Disorders (MD) commonly referred to comorbidity. The study being critiqued aimed to investigate three domain-general cognitive ability components, which include processing speed, temporal processing, and working memory. The goal was to learn whether these three components were cognitive risk factors for reading or math disorders. Or, if they were also co-occurring symptoms for individuals with attention difficulties. The problem statement was clearly stated in the study; it also gave an explanation about the three cognitive ability components. The author explains that although there has been previous research on the components, it has always been associated with Specific Learning Disorders. But, there is still a large need to explore if there are separable or shared cognitive deficits for MD and RD. The purpose of the study was to investigate and understand if processing speed, memory skills, and temporal processing are risk factors for Reading Disorders or Math Disorders. Also, the research focused on investigating if having these disorders is attributed to attentional difficulties shown by the students. Processing Speed Deficits are co-occurring with attention difficulties. Deficits in rapid automatized deficits (RAN) showed the deficits of verbal processing speeds in the children. Temporal Processing according to the research is described as “verbal time estimation, time reproduction, and time discrimination skills”. (Moll, K., Göbel, S. M., Gooch, D., Landerl, K., & Snowling, M. J. 2016) Temporal Processing is especially prevalent in individuals with attention disorders, as well as reading disorders. Hence, the research to see the co-morbidity of RD and attention deficits. 

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