Trainee Type:Research Trainee
Pragmatic Language in Williams Syndrome
This study proposes to characterize the pragmatic language skills of individuals with Williams syndrome using the TOPL-2, and compare these results to those found using the CCC-2. To qualify for a diagnosis of a language disorder (and services) the DSM-IV-TR requires that the individual receives a certain score on a standardized individually administered measure. The CCC-2 does not meet these criteria as it is not individually administered. Additionally, research suggests that combination of tests such as the TOPL-2 and parental reports leads to more accurate referral of children for services. In addition to these two language assessments, The Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test-Second Edition (KBIT-2) may be administered if the child has not a recent IQ test.
This study also proposes to collect information from the parents of these children regarding the nature of their services, i.e., if they are receiving speech/language therapy, for what duration and frequency, etc. We will also request a copy of each child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP). This will allow us to determine what percentage of children are receiving speech therapy, and what percentage of those children have pragmatic language goals within their IEP. Clinical and parental reports, as well as several research studies indicate that pragmatic deficits are common within this syndrome. However, it is unknown how/if this issue is addressed in IEPs. Pragmatic language goals for speech therapy will be suggested for the parents to report to their interventionists.