Delayed motor skill acquisition in kindergarten children with language impairment

Esther Adi-Japha, Orli Strulovich-Schwartz, Mona Julius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The acquisition and consolidation of a new grapho-motor symbol into long-term memory was studied in 5-year-old children with language impairment (LI) and peers matched for age and visual-motor integration skills. The children practiced the production of a new symbol and were tested 24. h and two weeks post-practice day. Differences in performance speed emerged between the groups: children with LI showed a later onset of rapid learning in the practice phase, and only the comparison group exhibited delayed, consolidation, gains 24. h post-training. At two weeks post-training, children with LI improved, closing the gap in performance speed. Speed-accuracy trade-off was characteristic of speed improvements in LI. These results indicate atypical and delayed acquisition in children with LI, and support the view that deficient skill acquisition in LI goes beyond the language system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2963-2971
Number of pages9
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Figure-copying
  • Implicit memory
  • Kindergarten
  • Learning curve
  • Procedural memory
  • SLI


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