Executive functions in SLD

Reading disorders: assessment and intervention

Product: Book

Trim size in cm: 17x24cm

Pages: 190

ISBN: 978-88-590-0284-0

Publication date: 01/05/2013


The first specific protocol available in Italy for assessing executive functions!

The second book in the «Speech therapy in childhood and adolescence» series responds to the need to provide an organised review of the most recent studies on learning written language. When there is a specific deficit and especially in the early phases of the acquisition of reading abilities, it important to act on basic cognitive processes (like executive functions, language, memory, and visual and spatial abilities) and not so much on decoding abilities. It is thus clear that thorough knowledge of neuropsychological reference models, assessment tools and interventions techniques are needed.
The book opens with a theoretical reference section and then goes on to illustrate the assessment protocols for individual executive functions, giving ample space to administration methods, scoring and interpretation of tests.   Lastly, practical suggestions are provided with specific development training and explicatory clinical cases.
Its main aim is to personalise interventions according to an objectifiable and shareable qualitative and quantitative assessment, which enables the operators involved to provide non-stereotypical clinical reasoning and to measure the results of the interventions, verifying their actual effectiveness.

Institutional sponsors

FLI (Federation of Italian Speech Therapists)


Specific Learning Disorders
The I.S.S Consensus Conference and Recommendations on SLD; Executive Functions and Learning: introductory aspects; Neuropsychological models of reference

– Assessment of Executive Functions in Specific Learning Disorders
Attention; Short-term memory and Working memory; Planning; Categorisation; Shifting; Inhibition

– Cognitive-functional training
The principles of cognitive-functional training; Training attention; Training working memory; Training planning abilities; Training inhibition abilities; Training categorisation; Training shifting

– Clinical examples
Clinical examples; Assessment protocols and score conversion tables

The "Speech Therapy in childhood and adolescence" series

Edited by Luigi Marotta, in collaboration with the FLI – Federation of Italian Speech Therapists

A series for disseminating knowledge on interventions in developmental disorders using an evidence-based scientific approach.

It targets speech therapists but in actual fact is of interest to all those who work in rehabilitation, due to its inter-disciplinary spirit and multiprofessional approach.


The series, in light of cultural changes introduced by EBM, aims to include contributions from those who, through training and experience, are involved on a daily basis in speech therapy interventions in developmental disorders, as part of an inter-disciplinary team caring for these children. The intent is to offer a panorama of rehabilitation proposals for different development profiles, together with a general overview of the various problems, offering new insights or conceptual redefinitions, consolidated approaches or more original initiatives, supported by recognised, plausible models of theoretical reference.

All the books are characterised by an attempt to combine deliberation and enthusiasm, giving space both to contributions from leading clinicians who have been working in the field of developmental disorders for years and from young professionals who are passionately and enthusiastically building their own experiences.

The books are extremely practical in nature, with a presentation of diagnostic criteria, agreed assessment protocols, intervention techniques and clinical cases.

The approach is based on the «biopsychosocial» model, with close attention paid to the child as a person, and to the environment where they live, as well as to neuropsychological correlations.

The series «Speech therapy in childhood and adolescence» is and always will be open to contributions from all those who work with children and adolescents, as the composition of the Scientific Board proves, numbering, in addition to speech therapists of long-standing experience, up and coming young professionals and experts from other disciplines such as psychologists, child neuropsychiatrists, nose, ear and throat specialists and pedagogists.



Rehabilitation programmes

Rehabilitation intervention manuals, which are extremely practical in nature and always evidence based.


Over the last few years speech therapists' areas of interest within the field of developmental disorders have multiplied and changed, requiring ever more specialised competences. What is more, the number of children born in disadvantageous conditions is still high. These children manifest pathologies which can alter cognitive and neuropsychological development and can no longer simply be classified as what was once known as «cognitive deficit» (even mental retardation) or «language deficit» or «reading and writing disorder» etc. 

Instead these children manifest complex, differing pathologies, although in many cases with comorbidity among them: pathologies which go from specific language or learning disorders to memory and attention disorders, from the effects of connatal or acquired brain lesions, to those of other pathologies, like for example epilepsy or infections from HIV or from treatment with certain medicines.

So what are the best intervention practices, what assessment criteria for appropriacy, efficiency and effectiveness should be used and how should outcomes be measured? The terms appropriacy, good practice, effectiveness indicators, multiprofessional team and so on, are all used on a daily basis by rehabilitators, often mainly to make us feel better and demonstrate our ability to recognise the transformations that the Italian Health System has undergone in the last ten years.


Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) has revolutionised the scientific world, as much in practice as in theory. From self-referential medicine, based on the experience and trends of the luminaries, we have moved over to science where proof and scientific evidence count.

A revolution which certainly happened for economic reasons as well, but one that has profoundly changed both principles and tendencies in the complex world of rehabilitation. EBM is, in fact, a cultural movement which quickly spread at an international level, due to the many phenomena which marked the evolution of the methodology of clinical research and scientific information. One of its main objectives was to question the dogmas dictated by traditional models of medicine, liberating health workers from the authority of the opinion leaders, as was once the custom, and offering them the chance to independently and critically assess the quality and validity of their own clinical choices, using experimental and bibliographical data to decide.