American Journal of Medical Genetics vol:50 issue:2 pages:190-200
The present study describes cognitive skills and information processing strategies of mentally retarded fra(X) men. Fifty-eight fra(X) positive and 58 fra(X) negative adults, matched on sex, chronological age, length of institutionalisation, general cognitive level, and living conditions, were evaluated with the Bayley or McCarthy Scales of Mental Abilities. Mental ages were mostly situated in the severe mental handicap category and were found to be negatively influenced by chronological age. A relative strength in perceptual performance and non-verbal reasoning and a deficit in sequential information processing turned out to be typical of all mentally retarded subjects, irrespective of fra(X) or control status. Fra(X) adults could be significantly differentiated from control persons on the ground of a higher level of acquired knowledge because of better vocabulary and verbal-expressive skills. On the other hand, they were less able to imitate non-verbal patterns, had more difficulty with visual-motor integration and co-ordination, and applied less efficient general mental processing skills in solving new problems. The memory profile of fra(X) adults was strongly determined by the meaning and the complexity of the information that has to be reproduced. In this article the profile of cognitive strengths and weaknesses in the fra(X) group will be discussed and some general advice for training is suggested. (C) 1994 Wiley-Liss, Inc.