Memory profiles of Down, Williams, and fragile X syndromes: Implications for reading development

Frances A. Conners, Marie S. Moore, Susan J. Loveall, Edward C. Merrill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The purpose of this review was to understand the types of memory impairments that are associated with intellectual disability (ID, formerly called mental retardation) and the implications of these impairments for reading development. Specifically, studies on working memory, delayed memory and learning, and semantic/conceptual memory in Down syndrome, Williams syndrome, and fragile X syndrome were examined. A distinct memory profile emerged for each of the 3 etiologies of ID. Memory profiles are discussed in relation to strengths and weaknesses in reading skills in these three etiologies. We suggest that reading instruction be designed to capitalize on relatively stronger memory skills while providing extra support for especially challenging aspects of reading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-417
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Down syndrome
  • fragile X syndrome
  • intellectual disability
  • memory
  • reading
  • Williams syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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