Background: Cornelia de Lange syndrsome (CdLS) is a rare genetic syndrome with notable impaired expressive communication characterised by reduced spoken language. We examined gesture use to refine the description of expressive communication impairments in CdLS. Methods: During conversations, we compared gesture use in people with CdLS to peers with Down syndrome (DS) matched for receptive language and adaptive ability, and typically developing (TD) individuals of similar chronological age. Results: As anticipated the DS and CdLS groups used fewer words during conversation than TD peers (P <.001). However, the CdLS group used twice the number of gestures per 100 words compared with the DS and TD groups (P =.003). Conclusions: Individuals with CdLS have a significantly higher gesture rate than expected given their level of intellectual disability and chronological age. This result indicates the cause of reduced use of spoken language does not extend to all forms of expressive communication.
Bibliographical noteThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Pearson, E., Nielsen, E., Kita, S., Groves, L., Nelson, L., Moss, J., and Oliver, C. (2021) Low speech rate but high gesture rate during conversational interaction in people with Cornelia de Lange syndrome, Journal of Intellectual Disability Research,, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/jir.12829.. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
- Cornelia de Lange syndrome
- Down syndrome
- social engagement