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Impaired communication ability in SOX11 syndrome.

BACKGROUND: Speech and language skills are important for social interaction and learning. This study characterised the communication abilities of verbal individuals with SOX11 syndrome using a standardised parent/carer questionnaire, the Children's Communication Checklist (CCC-2).

METHOD: Thirteen parent/carers of verbal individuals (aged 5-19 years) diagnosed with SOX11 syndrome completed the CCC-2. In order to contextualise findings, responses were compared to norms and to data from Noonan syndrome, a relatively well-known genetic diagnosis associated with communication impairment.

RESULTS: For all individuals, the CCC-2 composite score indicated significant communication difficulties. Language structure (speech, syntax, semantics and coherence), pragmatic language (inappropriate initiation, stereotyped language use of context and non-verbal communication) and autistic features (social relations and interests) scores were lower than typically developing norms. Subscale comparisons revealed relative difference in use of context compared to other pragmatic domains (stereotyped language and inappropriate initiation). Individual scores showed substantial variation, particularly in regard to language structure profile. Differences were more pronounced than for Noonan syndrome, specifically in domains of speech, syntax, non-verbal communication and social relations.

CONCLUSIONS: SOX11 syndrome is associated with communication impairment. It is important to assess communication abilities as part of the management of individuals with SOX11 syndrome and understand individual strengths and difficulties in order to provide targeted support.

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