Working memory and autism: A review of literature

Suneeta Kercood, Janice A. Grskovic, Devender Banda, Jasmine Begeske

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Research studies that evaluated working memory with students with autism and other disorders were reviewed and summarized. Results suggest that persons with autism score lower on measures of working memory than do typical controls especially on tasks that require cognitive flexibility, planning, greater working memory load, and spatial working memory, and with increasing task complexity and in dual task conditions. Lower scores in verbal working memory were associated with greater problems in adaptive behavior and more restrictive and repetitive behavior. Children with autism were as likely as typical children to employ articulatory rehearsal (verbal WM). The format of WM tasks may determine whether or not performance is impaired. Implications for educational practice and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1316-1332
Number of pages17
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2014


  • Auditory working memory
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Visiospatial working memory
  • Working memory


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