Chapter

Cognition: The developmental trajectory approach

Michael S. C. Thomas, Harry R. Purser and Jo Van Herwegen

in Neurodevelopmental Disorders Across the Lifespan

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199594818
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738166 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199594818.003.0013

Series: Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Cognition: The developmental trajectory approach

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One emphasis of this volume is on the use of developmental trajectories in the study of developmental disabilities. This chapter focuses on theoretical, methodological, and analytical issues surrounding trajectories, but it is grounded in examples drawn from one aspect of research on Williams syndrome (WS), that of figurative language development. Figurative language is relevant to everyday communication skills, and it is of theoretical interest because it lies at the interface of language, cognition, and social skills. It therefore brings to the fore issues surrounding the uneven cognitive profile frequently observed in WS. In particular, how the development of figurative language fares in WS is considered, given the apparent strengths in language and social skills whereas the overall IQ indicates moderate levels of learning disability. The methods described are more general, however, and could be applied to a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders.

Keywords: Williams syndrome; figurative language development; cognitive profile; learning disability; neurodevelopmental disorders

Chapter.  10573 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Psychology

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