Genetic Syndromes and Language Development

Andrea McDuffie & Leonard Abbeduto

In: Encyclopedia of Language Development

Genetic Syndromes and Language Development

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  • Many genetic syndromes that produce intellectual disabilities are associated with language impairments. Understanding the profiles of strengths and weaknesses that characterize these syndromes across different domains of language functioning is critical both for intervention planning as well as for understanding the ways in which genes influence behavior. This presents an overview of the language characteristics of three well-studied genetic syndromes that can produce intellectual disabilities and language impairments: Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and Williams syndrome. The authors have chosen to review these syndromes because they occur relatively frequently, provide an interesting contrast with regard to their language profiles, and display the ways in which cognitive and behavioral characteristics of each specific syndrome can shape language outcomes.

    Down Syndrome

    Overview. Down syndrome (DS) is the leading genetic ...

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