Nonverbal communication skills in Down syndrome children.

P. Mundy, M. Sigman, C. Kasari, N. Yirmiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations


The goal of this research was to examine the nonverbal communication competence of 18-48-month-old Down syndrome children. The results indicated that Downs children displayed strengths and weaknesses in nonverbal communication skills. Relative to MA matched normal children, they displayed a significant strength in nonverbal social interaction skills. However, they also displayed a significant deficit in nonverbal requests for objects or assistance with objects compared to normals. This pattern of strength and weakness in nonverbal skills appeared to be specific to Down syndrome since this pattern was not displayed by a comparison sample of non-Downs mentally retarded children. Nonverbal object-requesting skill was also significantly associated with a measure of expressive language in the Downs sample. This relation was notable because the Downs children also displayed a deficit in expressive language. Thus, the results of this study suggest that a deficit in expressive language is associated with a deficit in earlier-developing nonverbal requesting skill among Down syndrome children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-249
Number of pages15
JournalChild Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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