Language and behavior in children with Sotos syndrome

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1994 Nov-Dec;33(9):1307-15. doi: 10.1097/00004583-199411000-00013.


Objective: To examine language and behavior in children with Sotos syndrome, an overgrowth syndrome involving advanced bone age, characteristic facies, and developmental disability.

Method: Twenty-seven children with Sotos syndrome were compared with 20 children with overgrowth, intellectual disability, and facies not characteristic of Sotos syndrome. Ages ranged from 5 to 16 years. Direct assessment was undertaken with standardized measures of intelligence and language abilities. Behavior was examined by parent and teacher report.

Results: Children with Sotos syndrome had levels of intelligence in the severely disabled to average range, with the majority falling in the borderline range. Mean level of intelligence was significantly higher than that observed for children in the comparison group. Language abilities were developed to a level consistent with overall level of intelligence. Rates of parent- and teacher-reported behavior problems were significantly higher than normal, but, with the exception of temper tantrums, did not differ from those observed in children in the comparison group. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder was observed in 38% of children with Sotos syndrome. They were more irritable and had more stereotypic behavior and inappropriate speech than is expected in children with intellectual disabilities, and they were more withdrawn and had more stereotypic behavior than children in the comparison group.

Conclusions: Assessment of language abilities revealed no specific language impairment. High rates of behavior problems were observed, but these were not higher than those observed for other large, delayed, dysmorphic children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / psychology*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / etiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Gigantism / complications*
  • Gigantism / congenital
  • Gigantism / psychology
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / complications*
  • Intellectual Disability / psychology
  • Language Disorders / etiology*
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Syndrome