The communication development in 11 children with Angelman's syndrome is described. The clinical observation that these children appear to have a greater ability with receptive rather than expressive language is investigated and these skills assessed using published communication schedules. In addition the understanding and the use of nonverbal communication such as natural gesture was studied. The data collected highlight the fact that these children have developed very few words and have difficulty in using gestural or sign systems. This has implications for speech and language therapists and the children's remedial programmes. Possible future longitudinal studies are suggested.