- Concrete language
- Concrete nonverbal reasoning
- Verbal short term memory
- Auditory rote memory
- Social interactions/interpersonal skills
- Expressive vocal language
- Short and long term auditory memory
- Visuospatial development
- Visual memory
- Abstract reasoning
- Reading nonverbal cues
Studies show that speech development is typical but delayed.
- Individuals have good spoken language but poor comprehension.
- They may have trouble learning grammar (plurals, past tense, etc.). Once they learn the concepts they can quickly catch up to peers.
- Verbal expression is better than understanding of speech.
- May recite instructions or stories word for word but may have trouble with basic concepts.
- May echo or repeat with little understanding of what’s being said.
- Answering a question oddly may mean they do not understand the conversation.
- May use long words or expressions which may not fit the context. This occurs when talking about topics of interest.
- May be difficult to take turns and maintain a conversation.
- May chatter quite a bit, often at a superficial level.
- May have conversations with adult-like style, and great vocabulary, phrases, and clichés.
- May initiate conversation well.
- Can maintain conversation flow.
- Individuals may have visuospatial problems. They may also have gross and fine motor coordination issues.
- Difficult visual processing tasks include: discrimination, sequencing, and visual memory.
- Visuospatial problems may lead to the following:
- Slower in learning to sit and walk
- Poor posture
- Limitations of joint movements
- Fine motor challenges leading to difficulty with tool writing and handwriting at all ages
- Difficulty sorting, matching objects/shapes, tracing over lines
- They may have difficulty with:
- Riding a bike
- Buttoning buttons
- Cutting with a scissors
- Holding a pencil
- Motor and perceptual problems may include challenges with:
- Seeing things in, or as if in, 3 dimensions
- Eye hand coordination
- Orienting body and objects in space
- Judging distances and directions. This may result in:
- Fear of heights and climbing
- Hard time throwing
- Difficulty on stairs and uneven surfaces (grass, gravel, sand)
- Difficulty with jigsaw puzzles
- Difficulty copying a “t” or “x” with blocks
Most people with WS learn to read at a basic or, in some cases, more advanced levels.
With reading and literacy, individuals who have WS generally have:
- Good verbal skills
- Good memory for sounds and words
- Good auditory sequencing skills
- Good short and long term auditory memory
- Reading skills that match cognitive ability rather than language-related skills
- Difficulty generalizing rules to new materials
- Strength with concrete vocabulary
- Difficulty with relational and conceptual vocabulary
Writing and spelling tend to be more difficult than reading. This is due to the visual and fine motor skill required for these tasks.
With writing and spelling, people who have WS may have:
- Problems with forming letters, getting distracted (“spacing out”), and aligning words
- May have difficulty keeping his/her place or skip sections
- Progress may be slow
- Need for practice and repetition
- Fine motor delays make it challenging to hold a pencil/pen
- Be sure to address seating, posture, hand position, pencil grip
- Teach keyboarding and word processing skills
Math can be challenging for individuals with WS.
- Perceptual, visuospatial, and motor problems may make math and comprehension hard.
Individuals who have WS may have musical interests and skills.
- Many individuals with WS have an affinity for music.
- They are often very moved by music.
- Many have absolute and relative pitch.