Language and Cognition in Two Children with Williams Syndrome In this study, aspects of language, single-gesture retrieval, combinatorial play, and visual-spatial cognition are reported in two children with Williams syndrome who were in the single-word stage of language acquisition. Williams syndrome children are of particular interest because, when older (10–15 years), they display an unusual profile of abilities that ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 01, 1989
Language and Cognition in Two Children with Williams Syndrome
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Donna Thal
    University of California, San Diego
  • Elizabeth Bates
    University of California, San Diego
  • Ursula Bellugi
    The Salk Institute
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 01, 1989
Language and Cognition in Two Children with Williams Syndrome
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1989, Vol. 32, 489-500. doi:10.1044/jshr.3203.489
History: Received February 11, 1988 , Accepted October 27, 1988
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1989, Vol. 32, 489-500. doi:10.1044/jshr.3203.489
History: Received February 11, 1988; Accepted October 27, 1988

In this study, aspects of language, single-gesture retrieval, combinatorial play, and visual-spatial cognition are reported in two children with Williams syndrome who were in the single-word stage of language acquisition. Williams syndrome children are of particular interest because, when older (10–15 years), they display an unusual profile of abilities that may include superior linguistic performance compared with other aspects of cognition. The two children in the present study are compared to a group of normal children in the single-word stage of language acquisition with a mean age of 14.8 months, a group of single-word stage children who are 6–18 months delayed, and a group of older normal children with a mean age of 23.5 months. Results are compatible with the unusual cognitive profile displayed by older Williams syndrome children. We discuss the possibility that this profile involves mechanisms that extend beyond the boundaries of language proper.

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