Reading and Writing

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 479–491 | Cite as

Effects of working memory training on reading in children with special needs

  • Karin I. E. DahlinEmail author


This study examines the relationship between working memory and reading achievement in 57 Swedish primary-school children with special needs. First, it was examined whether children’s working memory could be enhanced by a cognitive training program, and how the training outcomes would relate to their reading development. Next, it was explored how differential aspects of working memory are related to children’s reading outcomes. The working memory training yielded effects, and these effects appeared beneficial to children’s reading comprehension development. Working memory measures were found to be related with children’s word reading and reading comprehension. The results show that working memory can be seen as a crucial factor in the reading development of literacy among children with special needs, and that interventions to improve working memory may help children becoming more proficient in reading comprehension.


Working memory Working memory training Word decoding Reading comprehension Small groups Special education Special needs 



This research was supported by The Swedish Research Council.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Special EducationStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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