People with Cornelia de Lange syndrome show syndrome-specific deficit in understanding non-vocal communication


The researchers in this study looked at the nature of communication skills in individuals with Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS). The research team used the Pre-verbal Communication Schedule to evaluate communication skills in 14 individuals with CdLS, aged five to 14 years.

They also identified a contrast group of 14 individuals with Cri du Chat syndrome (CdCS) matched for age and intellectual ability.

They found a significant difference in understanding non-vocal communication. The group with Cornelia de Lange syndrome showed greater deficit. The authors suggest that these findings might indicates a syndrome-specific deficit in understanding non-verbal communication with a dissociation between processing of verbal and non-verbal communication.

Further refinement of the nature of the communication impairment in Cornelia de Lange syndrome, Hoddell J et al., in Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities. 5. 4. 15-25

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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