Turner syndrome is a common genetic disorder associated with select deficits in executive functions, working memory and mathematics. In Study 1, we examined growth trajectories of skills in these areas, from grades 1 to 6, among girls with or without Turner syndrome. Rates of growth and performance levels at 6th grade, on an untimed math achievement test, did not suggest that girls with Turner syndrome have math learning difficulty (MLD). However, analyses did reveal lower efficiency on timed executive function tasks, among girls with Turner syndrome, who traded accuracy for speed under mild to moderate working memory demands. In Study 2 we compared numerical processing skills of 6th graders who had either Turner syndrome, MLD, low math achievement, or typical achievement in math. A numerical decomposition task revealed numerical processing deficits for the Turner syndrome and MLD groups, relative to typically achieving students. The relative difficulties in how numerical processing vs. working memory demands affected performance accuracy differed among groups, with the former demands leading to more performance difficulties in the Turner syndrome group. Our findings support the notion that girls with Turner syndrome recruit different strategies than their peers during allegedly basic numerical processing, that numerical processing deficits vs. executive function deficits underlie their difficulties with mathematics, and that math difficulties among these girls may not be apparent on untimed tests. These finding have implications for a possible manifestation of MLD.
- Mathematical learning disabilities
- Numerical processing
- Turner syndrome
- Working memory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology