Williams Syndrome

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Williams syndrome is a genetic disorder that is caused by the absence of material on the seventh pair of chromosomes (Hallahan and Kauffman, 130). It is present at birth, and affects males and females equally. It can occur in all ethnic groups and has been identified in countries throughout the world (WSA).

Children with Williams Syndrome are said to have very similar facial features. Wide mouth, full lips, small upturned nose, small chin and puffiness around their eyes are the most common features. The facial features become more prominent over age (Hallahan and Kauffman, 130).

The majority of individuals with Williams syndrome have some type of heart or blood vessel problem. There is narrowing in the aorta, or narrowing in the pulmonary arteries. The degree of narrowing differs from trivial to severe. Risk of high blood pressure is increased meaning, over time monitoring cardiac status is necessary. (WSA) Symptoms of Williams syndrome include low birth weight, sensitive hearing, and dental abnormalities.

Most of the time weight increases slowly after birth due to a high gag reflex. There is nothing that causes the syndrome. Parents cannot prevent it nor cause it.

Diagnosing Williams Syndrome is not difficult. It can be confirmed by a blood test given by a doctor. There is also a tool called FISH, which specializes in analyzing chromosomes. FISH is not readily available by all hospitals, blood tests can be sent to hospitals that have this tool.(WSA) The personality of a child with Williams Syndrome tends to be very friendly. Children with this disability are rarely shy and timid and are more likely to get along with an adult rather than their peers. Although, children with this disability usually have developmental delays such as walking, talking and potty training they show great strengths in speech and language...