Domain-specific Rapid Automatized Naming deficits in children at risk for learning disabilities
Performance in Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) tasks with different materials (dice, digits, letters, objects) and key precursor skills of reading and arithmetic were assessed in kindergarten children (n = 541) in their last year before entering elementary school. Based on their precursor skills, three groups of children were identified, i.e. children at risk for reading problems (n = 31), children at risk for arithmetic problems (n = 39), and children at risk for problems in both domains (n = 34). These at-risk children were compared to a control group (n = 343) regarding their performance in the different RAN tasks. Results revealed domain-specific deficits in both groups of children with a single risk: While children at risk for problems in reading exhibited deficits in the RAN of letters and objects, children at risk for problems in arithmetic showed deficits in the RAN of dice and digits. The group of children at risk for problems in both domains displayed additive, domain-general deficits. Findings are discussed in the context of behavioral and neurocognitive research on reading and mathematical disabilities.
from the Journal of Neurolinguistics