Understanding Williams Syndrome: Behavioral Patterns and Interventions

By Eleanor Semel; Sue R. Rosner | Go to book overview

CHAPTER
2

Language Skills and Problems

Researchers describe WS language as “remarkable, ” “surprisingly well preserved, ” “unusual and picturesque, ” “relatively spared, ” “irrelevant and perseverative, ” “developmentally delayed, ” “non-intact, ” “gifted, ” and “engaging” (Bellugi, Lichtenberger, Jones, Lai, & St. George, 2000; Bellugi et al., 1994; Karmiloff-Smith, Grant, Berthoud, Davies, Howlin, & Udwin, 1997; Karmiloff-Smith, Klima, Bellugi, Grant, & Baron-Cohen, 1995; Semel, 1988; Semel & Rosner, 1991b; Udwin & Yule, 1990).

Most individuals with WS (WSs) are verbally fluent, articulate, and extremely interested in conversing with others. Their speech is usually grammatically complex, generally correct, but with some exceptions (discussed later). They are noted for having an extensive vocabulary, impressive storytelling skills, and being able to use their language abilities for their own purposes.

Despite striking individual differences in language competence and variation across subareas in ability, language stands as an area of surprising strength for most WSs relative to their cognitive limitations in intelligence test scores, Piagetian tasks, and general information, as well as marked visual-spatial-motor deficits (Bellugi et al., 2000; Mervis & KleinTasman, 2000). Parents report that 67% of children with WS (WSc) (n = 64, 4–22 yrs) have “highly developed language abilities, ” and 98% report that their WSc “can talk” (Utah Survey, Semel & Rosner, 1991a, 1991b).2

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2
Information regarding number and age of subjects is provided only the first time a particular research study is cited, (“yr” = years rounded to the next year, “mo” = months).

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Understanding Williams Syndrome: Behavioral Patterns and Interventions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • List of Figures v
  • List of Tables v
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword xiii
  • Preface xvii
  • Acknowledgments xxi
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2 - Language Skills and Problems 15
  • Chapter 3 - Intervention Approaches for Language Problems 64
  • Chapter 4 - Perceptual and Motor Performance 108
  • Chapter 5 - Specific Aptitudes 187
  • Chapter 6 - Maladaptive Behaviors 252
  • Chapter 7 - Intervention Approaches for Maladaptive Behaviors 297
  • Chapter 8 - Summary and Conclusions 359
  • References 402
  • Appendix 420
  • Author Index 431
  • Subject Index 443
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