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William's Syndrome

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Understanding the condition


William’s syndrome is a developmental disorder that affects many parts of the body.

Children with William’s Syndrome tend to have:

  • Outgoing and engaging personalities. Often appearing over friendly and extremely interested in finding out about other people.

  • An ability to learn well through repetition.

  • Distinct facial features including a broad forehead, short nose with a broad tip, a wide mouth with full lips. Many affected individuals will experience dental problems such as teeth that are small crooked or missing.

  • Visual-spatial task difficulties such as drawing and assembling puzzles/ jigsaws.

  • Developmental delay so take longer to learn to walk, talk and toilet train.

  • As children get older, distractibility can also pose a difficulty.

Associated conditions

  • Supravalvular aortic stenosis (SVAS), a cardiovascular disease occurs frequently in people with Williams syndrome. It is a narrowing of the large blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. High blood pressure is also a risk.

  • Abnormalities of connective tissue (tissue that supports the body's joints and organs) such as joint problems and soft, loose skin.

  • Co-ordination difficulties

  • Short Stature

  • Eye and vision problems

  • Urinary problems

  • Digestive tract problems

  • Hernias

  • Sensitive hearing

  • Low birth weight and difficulties gaining weight

Challenges faced by students


Children with William’s Syndrome are typically unafraid of strangers and appear both sociable and polite however as they grow, difficulties with social cues can often lead to difficulties in maintaining longer term friendships and result in isolation, anxiety and depression. Participation and achievement of class-based tasks that involve spatial relations, numbers, and abstract reasoning can be a challenge.

To find out more about William’s syndrome, please visit: 

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