Language Use in Females with Fragile X or Turner Syndrome During Brief Initial Social Interactions

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ABSTRACT.Fragile X and Turner syndromes are associated with risk of atypical social function. We examined language use, including normal and atypical speech, during initial social interactions among participants engaged in a brief social role play with an unfamiliar adult. There were 27 participants with Turner syndrome, 20 with fragile X syndrome and 28 in an age-matched comparison group. Females with fragile X did not exhibit more abnormal language, but exhibited less of what is typical during initial interactions. Overall rates of dysfluencies did not differ, although females with fragile X made more phrase repetitions. Females with Turner syndrome had no language use abnormalities. Our findings suggest that language use may influence social function in females with fragile X syndrome and that such language characteristics may be observed in the context of brief encounters with an unfamiliar adult.

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