I bambini con sindrome di Down: gesti per pensare o gesti per parlare?

In this paper we present two related studies focused on the relationship between sponta- neous gesture production and spoken lexical ability, analyzed during a naming task. Study 1 compa- red 15 children with Down syndrome (DS) (3;8 – 8;3 years) to 15 typically developing (TD) children matched for chronological age (CATD) and 15 children matched for developmental age (DATD) (2;6 – 4;3 years of chronological age). In Study 2 the DS and DATD groups of Study 1 were compared with 15 TD children matched to DS group for lexical age, as measured by the short form of the Italian version of MacArthur-Bates CDI questionnaire (LATD) (1;9-2;6 years of chronological age). Our purpose was to clarify if gesture is more strictly related to cognitive or to spoken linguistic abilities. Diýerences between groups were expected in terms of naming and phonological accuracy (measured by number of correct answers and intelligibility of verbal production), number and type of gestures produced, and modality used in replying (spoken, gestural or bimodal). Children of the DS group provided significantly less correct answers than the DATD and CATD groups and more unintelligible answers than LATD group. Children with DS produced a significantly higher number of representa- tional gestures than controls. Furthermore, CATD and DATD children produced more spoken answers without gestures, LATD children produced more bimodal answers, whereas children with DS produ- ced gestures mainly without speech. Results suggest that representational gestures may serve for ex- pressing meanings when children’s cognitive abilities outstrip their productive spoken language skills.

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X/3 (2010): 59–74.
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Stefanini, S., Caselli, M.C., Volterra, V./titolo:I bambini con sindrome di Down: gesti per pensare o gesti per parlare?/doi:/rivista:/anno:2010/pagina_da:59/pagina_a:74/intervallo_pagine:59–74/volume:X/3
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