Research in Developmental Disabilities vol:32 issue:1 pages:148-157
The emergence of the Down syndrome (DS) behavioural phenotype during early development may be of great importance to early interventionists. The main goal of this study was to investigate the good-imitator-poor-talker developmental profile in DS at preschool age. Twenty preschoolers with Down syndrome (DS; mean nonverbal mental age NMA 1y10m) and 15 children with non-specific mental retardation (NS-MR; mean NMA 1y11m) participated in this study. The Preschool Imitation and Praxis Scale (PIPS) and the Dutch version of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories (N-CDI) were used to determine absolute and relative (contrasted to a nonverbal mental age reference) imitation and language abilities. Results revealed that there was clear evidence for a good-imitator-poor-talker profile in preschoolers with DS. However, only the advanced bodily imitation ability seems to be syndrome-specific. Clinical implications of these findings are considered.