Hypnotic susceptibility in children with Down's syndrome



Numerous studies on people with Down's syndrome show that they are able to adapt to simple tasks, have a better ability for language comprehension than for language production, and that their learning difficulties are connected to their particular memory functions as well as to their prolonged information processing time. These characteristics do not, however, highlight elements that suggest non-receptivity to hypnosis. The present research studied (a) hypnotic response in children with Down's syndrome, and (b) the cognitive variables that can mediate the hypnotic response. The sample included twelve participants, 7 girls and 5 boys, ages ranging from 6 to 17, mean age: 10.4 (SD: 3.83). We used the Stanford Hypnotic Scale for Children, Modified Form (SHCS; Morgan and Hilgard, 1979), and also checked Mnemonic recuperation, Abstraction, Perception and Vocabulary comprehension (using different subscales in WPPSI-R, K-ABC and Chevrié Muller, Simon & Decante, 1975). Results show that the children were capable of responding to suggestions under hypnosis; both motor and cognitive. The differences with the pattern of children from the general population are discussed. Copyright © 2009 British Society of Experimental & Clinical Hypnosis. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.