What you need to know
Occasionally, there can be significant narrowing in the major blood vessels around the heart that can lead to hypertension or an enlarged heart.
- Any change in routine may produce anxiety, fears and/or worry.
- Children with Williams syndrome are often overly friendly and may be too familiar with strangers.
- Problems with depth perception may cause the child to be fearful of stairs or high places.
- Low muscle tone may continue into school age and may cause easy fatigue.
- Children often have difficulty balancing on one foot or with a typical alternating gait.
- If you live in New England (USA) and qualify, Northeast Passage offers Therapeutic Recreation and Adaptive Sports programming.
What you can do
- Consider any medical factors, such as heart issues, and discuss adaptations needed with parents
- Offer anticipatory guidance and preparation
- Create a picture story about the upcoming event. The child can rehearse it alone or with others.
- Crowds and loud noises can be overwhelming to children who have WS. Try:
- Earplugs of headphone
- IPod with headphone
- Consider a one-on-one aide
- Assign an adult or student for them to be “partner” with during trip or event
- Arrange for preferred seating for any hearing or vision issues
- Work with parents to develop an adaptive physical education program for balance and fatigue issues, if present
- Be aware of new situations that might cause increased anxiety in the child – such as preparing them for fire alarms, etc.