PhD defence Iris Selten: DLD, 22q11ds, and neurodevelopmental disorders

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On 14 June, Iris Selten will defend here PhD thesis More than Words. Selten studied the language development of children with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS), a relatively common genetic disorder. The severity of language problems in these children correlates with the development of features of neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism. Selten examined the extent to which this finding is relevant to understanding the problems of children with developmental language disorder (DLD).

Large differences

Children with DLD have language problems without an identifiable cause. Often, they also have features of various neuropsychiatric disorders. The extent to which children with DLD develop neuropsychiatric symptoms, however, varies greatly. To gain more insight into these differences, Selten compared children with DLD with children with 22q11DS.

In the group of children with 22q11DS, Selten saw that the children with the least developed language comprehension showed the most features of autism. By comparing 22q11DS and DLD, Selten suggests that this may also be true for a subgroup of children with TOS: those with the most language comprehension problems.

Selten recommends further investigating the association between language difficulties and neuropsychiatric symptoms, both in children with 22q11DS and within subgroups of children with DLD. This could lead to earlier identification of the children diagnosed with DLD or 22q11DS at greatest risk of neuropsychiatric symptoms, which in turn could provide clues for more targeted intervention.

Start date and time
End date and time
Hybrid: online (click here) and at the Utrecht University Hall
PhD candidate
I.S. Selten
More than Words
PhD supervisor(s)
Professor F.N.K. Wijnen
Professor P.A.M. Gerrits
Dr T.D. Boerma
Dr J.A.S. Vorstman
Dr M.L. Houben