Rare Disorder Offers Fresh Insight into Language
July 10, 2006
People with Williams Syndrome are elf-like in appearance.
They also have an average IQ of about 60.
their language skills seemed surprisingly good, given their low intelligence.
The disorder appeared to be the opposite of autism, in which people can have normal IQ, but few language skills.
Their motivation to talk to other people is so strong that it helps them overcome some of their initial problems with language.
To use language fully, people need sophisticated social skills that people with Williams Syndrome don’t have.
One of these is something called theory of mind. It’s the ability to understand the thoughts and feelings of the person we are talking to.