Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Student in Educational Psychology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Payam Noor University, Tehran, Iran.

4 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Rudehen Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.


The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the training package enhancement lateral domination over the components of executive functions including: initiation, working memory, planning, organizing and monitoring and visual perception components including: Visual-spatial relationship, visual form-constancy, visual sequential-memory and visual figure-ground of children with specific learning disabilities. The method of the present study was experimental with a pretest-posttest design with a control group. From elementary school children from 7 to 12 years old who were diagnosed with specific learning disabilities in psychology clinics in Tehran in 2020, 30 people were randomly selected and then randomly replaced in two groups of 15 experimental and control. The Edinburgh inventory and Delacato Neurodevelopmental Scale, TVPS-R Visual Perception Test and Brief’s Behavioral Rating Scale of Executive Functions were used to collect data. The results of the analysis of covariance showed that the training package had an effect on executive functions (p <0.01 and F = 8.47) and visual perception (F=10.20 and P<0/01) in children with specific learning disabilities in the experimental group.
Keywords: Specific Learning Disabilities, Lateral Dominance, Executive Functions, Visual Perception, Children.
Extended Abstract


Children with Specific Learning Disorder exhibit symptoms that include problems with understanding or using language (spoken or written) that manifest as difficulties in reading, writing, spelling, or performing mathematical calculations. These difficulties are not due to intellectual disabilities, uncorrected sensory problems (such as poor vision or hearing), inadequate educational instruction, or any cultural or economic disadvantage. Instead, they are intrinsic to the individual and are believed to be due to neurological dysfunction in the brain.
Specific Learning Disorder can have significant impacts on a child's education and daily life, affecting academic achievement and activities that require reading, writing, or arithmetic skills. Additionally, it can impact job performance and daily activities in adults if not adequately addressed during childhood.
The importance of executive functions in academic and daily life activities is well understood in the psychological and educational sciences.
Given the profound impact of executive functions on children with Specific Learning Disorders, this study aims to explore the effectiveness of a training package designed to improve these functions. By focusing on enhancing lateral dominance, which is hypothesized to be linked to improvements in executive functions and visual perception, the study seeks to provide empirical evidence supporting specific intervention strategies that could benefit children diagnosed with Specific Learning Disorders.


According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), Specific Learning Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder with a biological origin that manifests itself during the years of formal schooling. It is primarily characterized by persistent difficulties in learning and using academic skills, which are not consistent with the individual's chronological age or the opportunities for learning provided. These difficulties are evident in three main areas: reading, writing, and arithmetic, often referred to collectively as 'the three Rs' (reading, writing, and arithmetic).
Executive Functions include processes such as planning, organization, strategic thinking, attention to detail, and memory management, which are essential for learning and adapting behaviors. A deficit in these areas can severely affect an individual's ability to function effectively in educational, social, and work environments.


The study employed an experimental design with a pretest-posttest setup and a control group. The participants were 30 elementary school children between the ages of 7 and 12 who were diagnosed with specific learning disabilities at psychology clinics in Tehran in the year 2020. These children were randomly divided into two groups: 15 in the experimental group and 15 in the control group.
Entry Criteria:

Enrolled in elementary school.
Diagnosed with specific learning disabilities.
No significant neurological or physical health issues aside from specific learning disabilities.

Exit Criteria:

Withdrawal of consent by the children or their parents.
Non-compliance with the training protocols.

Instruments Used:

Edinburgh Handedness Inventory - Used to assess the preferred hand dominance of the participants.
Delacato's Neurodevelopmental Scale - Employed to evaluate sensory integration and neurodevelopmental status.
Test of Visual Perceptual Skills (TVPS-R) - A tool to measure visual-perceptual strengths and weaknesses.
Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) - Used to assess the executive functions of the children, which include behavior regulation, emotion control, and task completion.

Procedure: The study was conducted over a period of three months. The experimental group underwent a specific training program aimed at enhancing lateral dominance, hypothesized to improve executive functions and visual perception. The control group did not receive any specific intervention but continued with their regular school curriculum. Pretests and posttests using the above instruments were administered to both groups to measure any changes in executive functions and visual perception abilities.
Data Analysis: Data were analyzed using ANOVA to compare the pretest and posttest results between the experimental and control groups. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.


The analysis of covariance showed significant improvements in both executive functions and visual perception among children in the experimental group compared to the control group. The findings are as follows:

Executive Functions: There was a significant increase in the scores for executive functions in the experimental group (p < 0.01, F = 8.47), suggesting that the training package effectively enhanced these cognitive abilities.
Visual Perception: Similarly, visual perception scores improved significantly in the experimental group (F = 10.20, p < 0.01). This indicates that the training not only affected cognitive processes related to planning and execution but also improved the children's ability to interpret visual information.

These results confirm the hypothesis that enhancing lateral dominance through specific training can positively impact cognitive abilities that are crucial for academic success in children with specific learning disabilities.


The results of this study provide strong support for the effectiveness of the training package aimed at enhancing lateral dominance in improving executive functions and visual perception in children with specific learning disabilities. The significant improvements observed in these areas suggest that targeted interventions can have a marked impact on the cognitive abilities that underpin academic performance and daily functioning.
Executive Functions: The improvement in executive functions is particularly notable because these functions are critical for managing thoughts, emotions, and actions. These skills are essential for academic success, as they involve planning, organizing, and prioritizing tasks, which are often challenging for children with learning disabilities. The training seems to have enhanced the brain's executive control systems, likely by strengthening neural pathways that support cognitive processing.
Visual Perception: The enhancement in visual perception skills indicates that the training may have facilitated better integration of visual information processing. This is crucial for tasks such as reading and mathematical reasoning, where visual layout and spatial understanding play significant roles. Improved visual perception can lead to better academic performance and more effective interaction with the environment.
Theoretical Implications: These findings contribute to the theoretical understanding of how interventions targeting physical and cognitive processes can ameliorate specific cognitive deficits associated with learning disabilities. They support the notion that improving lateral dominance can have broad cognitive benefits, possibly by enhancing the integration of sensory information and executive processing.
Practical Implications: Practically, this study offers a feasible approach for educational and clinical settings to implement interventions that can improve critical cognitive functions in children with learning disabilities. Schools and therapists might consider incorporating similar training programs into their standard practices to aid children with specific learning disabilities.
Limitations and Future Research: Despite the promising findings, the study has limitations that should be addressed in future research. The sample size was relatively small, and the study was confined to a specific geographic area, which may limit the generalizability of the results. Future studies could expand the sample size and include participants from diverse backgrounds to enhance the robustness and applicability of the findings.


The study confirms the effectiveness of a specialized training package designed to enhance lateral dominance in improving the executive functions and visual perception of children with specific learning disabilities. The significant improvements noted in these cognitive areas underscore the potential of tailored interventions to not only enhance the academic performance of these children but also improve their overall daily functioning.
The intervention focused on developing lateral dominance, which appears to have a substantial impact on both executive functions and visual perception abilities. These capabilities are crucial for success in educational settings and for managing everyday tasks efficiently. By strengthening these cognitive skills, the training helped participants become more adept at navigating challenges that arise due to their learning disabilities.
In summary, this study illustrates the value of integrating specific neurodevelopmental approaches into educational strategies for children with learning disabilities. It highlights the importance of targeted cognitive training that addresses specific deficits to optimize learning outcomes. Future research should continue to explore and expand on these findings with larger sample sizes and diverse populations to fully understand the broader applicability and long-term benefits of such interventions.


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