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Further refinement of the nature of the communication impairment in Cornelia de Lange syndrome

Jill Hoddell (Based at Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK)
Jo Moss (Based at Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK and Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK)
Kate Woodcock (Based at Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK)
Chris Oliver (Based at Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK)

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities

ISSN: 2044-1282

Article publication date: 15 July 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Research into the communication skills of individuals with Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) is extremely limited. This paper aims to evaluate the nature of these skills and impairments in CdLS using a detailed informant assessment of pre-verbal communication skills.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used the Pre-verbal Communication Schedule to evaluate communication skills in individuals with CdLS (n=14), aged five to14 years. The group was compared with a contrast group of individuals with Cri du Chat syndrome (CdCS; n=14) who were matched for age and intellectual ability.

Findings

A significant difference was identified in understanding non-vocal communication (p<0.005), with the CdLS group showing a greater deficit. These findings indicate the presence of a syndrome-specific deficit in understanding non-verbal communication in individuals with CdLS and suggest that there may be a dissociation between the processing of verbal and non-verbal communication.

Originality/value

The findings indicate that, in many ways, these two syndrome groups are not dissimilar in terms of their communication skills. However, individuals with CdLS show a syndrome-specific deficit in understanding non-vocal communication relative to the CdCS group.

Keywords

Citation

Hoddell, J., Moss, J., Woodcock, K. and Oliver, C. (2011), "Further refinement of the nature of the communication impairment in Cornelia de Lange syndrome", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 15-25. https://doi.org/10.1108/20441281111165562

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited