Nonverbal communication, play, and language in Greek young children with Williams syndrome
AuthorPapaeliou, C. F.; Fryssira, H.; Kodakos, A.; Kaila, M.; Benaveli, E.; Michaelides, K.; Stroggilos, V.; Vrettopoulou, M.; Polemikos, N.
This study investigated nonverbal communicative abilities, functional play, and symbolic play in 11 toddlers with Williams syndrome (WS) during spontaneous communication. The WS group was compared with a group of typically developing (TD) children matched for linguistic abilities. Results demonstrated that children with WS exhibited significantly less spontaneous functional play and imaginary play compared to TD children. On the other hand, children with WS showed significantly more showing and giving guided by their parents than TD children. In addition, it was shown that in both groups aspects of symbolic play are correlated with expressive as well as receptive language. These findings are interpreted through the Theory of Intersubjectivity, which contrasts with the Theory of Mind and suggests that shared arbitrary purposes regarding actions on objects constitute presuppositions for the development of language.