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Perspect Lang Learn Educ. 2011 Oct 1;18(3):98-107.

Children with Williams Syndrome: Language, Cognitive, and Behavioral Characteristics and their Implications for Intervention.

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  • 1Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, 317 Life Sciences Building, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, 502-852-3604.


Williams syndrome (WS) is a rare genetic disorder characterized by heart disease, failure to thrive, hearing loss, intellectual or learning disability, speech and language delay, gregariousness, and non-social anxiety. The WS psycholinguistic profile is complex, including relative strengths in concrete vocabulary, phonological processing, and verbal short-term memory and relative weaknesses in relational/conceptual language, reading comprehension, and pragmatics. Many children evidence difficulties with finiteness marking and complex grammatical constructions. Speech-language intervention, support, and advocacy are crucial.

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