Early onset intractable seizures: nonverbal communication after hemispherectomy.

R. Caplan, D. Guthrie, W. D. Shields, M. Sigman, Peter Clive Mundy, T. Sherman, H. V. Vinters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The nonverbal communication skills of 10 children (mean age = 44.2 months) who underwent hemispherectomy for early onset intractable seizures were tested before and after surgery. A within-group analysis suggests that the 10 seizure-free children used more nonverbal communication after a mean follow-up period of 11.2 months than before surgery. Young normal language age matches were available for the 4 older and higher functioning subjects in the sample. Before surgery, the surgical subjects used less requesting gestures than did the normal children. After surgery, these differences were no longer apparent. The patients also employed more gestures to focus an adult's attention on objects and events than language-age-matched normal children. The children who underwent left or right hemispherectomy used similar nonverbal communication behaviors. The study's findings suggest that children with early onset intractable seizures have impaired early social communication that improves to some extent after hemispherectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-355
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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