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An investigation into the relationship between quality of pantomime gestures and visuospatial skills

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

While children with developmental language disorder or Williams syndrome appear to use hand gestures to compensate for specific cognitive and communicative difficulties, they have different cognitive strength-weakness profiles. Their semantic and visuospatial skills potentially affect gesture quality such as iconicity. The present study focuses on untangling the unique contribution of these skills in the quality of gestures. An explicit gesture elicitation task was presented to 25 participants with developmental language disorder between 7 and 10 years of age, 25 age-matched peers with typical development, and 14 participants with Williams Syndrome (8−23 years). They gestured pictures of objects without using speech (pantomime). The iconicity, semantic richness, and representation technique of the pantomimes were coded. Participants’ semantic association and visuospatial skills were formally assessed. Iconicity was slightly lower in individuals with Williams syndrome, which seems related to their visuospatial deficit. While semantic saliency was similar across participant groups, small differences in representation technique were found. Partial correlations showed that visuospatial skills and semantic skills were instrumental in producing clear pantomimes. These findings indicate that clinicians aiming to enhance individuals’ natural iconic gestures should consider achieved iconicity, particularly in individuals with low visuospatial skills.
Tijdschrift: AAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication
ISSN: 0743-4618
Issue: 3
Volume: 36
Pagina's: 179 - 189
Jaar van publicatie:2020
Trefwoorden:Parageneeskundige wetenschappen , Onderwijskunde en informatiewetenschappen