Beside their unusual aptitude for language, most WSs have an impressive aptitude in four other areas: sociability, curiosity, memory, and musicality. As with language, each is central to the phenotype and daily lives of most WSs. These are islands of considerable skill, unexpected in individuals with limited cognitive abilities and numerous behavior problems (see chap. 6).
Each area is characterized by its own kind of paradoxical properties, both problems or limitations and abilities or talents that may be used as “Access” channels to help WSs realize their potential. Interventions are needed to maximize the capabilities and address the problems of WSs in these areas.
This chapter describes the positive and problematic aspects of each specific aptitude and suggests intervention approaches relevant for each area: sociability, curiosity, memory, and musicality.
Most individuals with WS (WSs) exhibit an intriguing mix of social attributes. They tend to be exceptionally friendly, outgoing, and sensitive to the feelings of others. Yet, they often exhibit problems of overfriendliness, poor peer relations, oversensitivity, and difficulty in understanding higher level concepts of social cognition. Such contradictions challenge the assumption that sociability is a unitary trait. They also underscore the need for interventions to address the social difficulties and build on the social skills associated with WS.