Jacksonville FL; 2003-03-23; John HOLLER (1948) (dec'd Feb 2002) GIACALONE, Thomas Richard Jr.; stillborn; Huguenot SI NY (d.Long Branch NJ); 2003-03-23; (mother was SCANLON) GRAEPEL, Gladys M.

From infancy, children with ASD and those with WS share some overlapping impairments in the use of gesture, pointing, and joint attention [].

It remains unclear how these atypical social interaction styles affect the different social and non-social dimensions of learning.

Three children with WS were administered the standardized tests and the experimental battery in their home due to traveling difficulties on the part of their families.

The length of experimental testing was approximately 25 min.

Manipulating the weight of social components across learning tasks and comparing populations presenting with contrasting profiles of social motivation afforded a unique opportunity to evaluate whether differences in drive for social engagement result in different learning styles in children with ASD and WS.

We hypothesized that while the groups would perform similarly in tasks tapping non-social, instrumental dimensions of learning, the WS group would show superior performance in those based on social processes and motives.

However, surprisingly limited work has been conducted on the social dimension of learning in this population.

A recent study reported preliminary evidence that young adults with WS required more attempts to learn a new task compared to mental age-matched typically developing controls in both an imitation condition and a trial-and-error condition [] documented enhanced imitation of facial expressions of emotions in children with WS.

Participants in the WS group were recruited through the Williams Syndrome Family Support Group (Victoria) and the Williams Syndrome Association Australia.

The diagnoses of ASD were previously made by community-based healthcare professionals and confirmed for the study using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS 2, []) administered by a clinician with demonstrated research reliability in the use of this measure.

The participants were 36 preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; mean age = 45.5 months, SD = 11.2 months, range = 29.2–74.1) and 21 peers with William syndrome (WS; mean age = 52.5 months, SD = 17.2 months, range = 26.7–78.8) who participated in four experiments.