Physical Activity, Trips, Events

What you need to know

  • children on tire swing
    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.