Congenital disorders can lead to a variety of health complications in children. For many congenital complications, the symptoms manifest in neurological complications in addition to impairment in physical function. If you are the parent of a child who suffers from any form of congenital disorder it is important to understand the long-term and short-term effects of the disorder.
is it genetic
Genetic disorders can lead to a variety of health complications. For some children, the complication is often not diagnosed until late into grade school when complications involving speech and language development are more apparent.
If your child suffers from a complication involving speech and language development, it may be prudent to seek medical attention to determine if the complication is associated with a genetic complication.
Williams syndrom is a genetic complication that leads to neurological complications. While the physical characteristics often result in short stature and elf-like features, there are some children with Williams syndrome who are not diagnosed until later in life when speech and language complications result in poor academic performance.
Williams syndrom symptoms
- not only neurological complications
With the congenital disorder known as Williams syndrome, a child develops not only neurological complications but also physical and behavioral impairments. While the most evident complication involves an extremely small stature and elf-like appearance, there is also a lesser-evident complication involving intellectual disability.
- impair a child’s ability
As intellectual disability leads to a reduced quality of life it can, at times, also impair a child’s ability to cooperate and function in even the most simple of daily living activities. Hyperactivity coupled with physical and neurological complications involving the ability to feed often results in the malnourishment of children with Williams syndrom.
Often, the child who suffers from Williams syndrom will experience hyperarousal and extreme hyperactivity. With the physical complication involving the inability to suck or swallow effectively, many children with Williams syndrome are simply disinterested in eating.
This lack of nourishment can lead to additional developmental complications. As the parent of a child who suffers from Williams syndrome, it is important to understand that feeding times will be a time of great distress and anxiety.
- the disparity between speech and language
One of the interesting aspects of Williams syndrome comes in the disparity between speech and language. In fact, many children with Williams syndrome actually have quite extensive, and strong, language expression and acquisition.
However, the ability to speak those words, in addition to complications with visuospatial recognition, can be impaired. What is commonly seen, then, is a child with advanced vocabulary and a keen skill for grammar, with a poor ability to express speech and a poor ability to perform in areas that involve abstract thinking.
promote your child’s cooperation during feeding
If your child has been confirmed as suffering from Williams syndrome, it is important to find a speech and language therapist who can not only assist your child in speech development but also improve the visuospatial processing within the brain. Bridging the gap between this abstract thinking, speech development, and advanced language skills is important to the long-term cognitive health of your child.
With proper training from a therapist, you can come up with ways in which to promote your child’s cooperation during feeding.
Spoon-feeding your child, in small bites, without an option for escaping mealtime is often the method parents must use to feed the child. However, because feeding and cooperation with eating are often complex in a child with Williams syndrome, your child’s pediatrician will need to closely monitor the child’s height and weight.
Williams syndrome treatment methods
Williams syndrome and potential treatments that have been researched. However, it is important to note that there is currently no cure for Williams syndrome. Treatment typically focuses on managing the symptoms and improving the quality of life. Some potential treatment methods for Williams syndrome may include:
- Early intervention services: Early intervention services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy can help children with Williams syndrome develop important skills and reach their maximum potential.
- Medications: Certain medications may be prescribed to treat specific symptoms of Williams syndrome such as anxiety or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Behavioral therapy: Behavioral therapy can help individuals with Williams syndrome develop appropriate social and communication skills.
- Special education and vocational training: Special education and vocational training can help individuals with Williams syndrome gain the skills necessary for independent living and employment.
It is important to discuss any potential treatment methods with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.
Elfin face williams syndrome
Elfin’s face is a characteristic feature of Williams syndrome. This refers to a unique facial appearance that includes a small upturned nose, a wide mouth with a small chin, full cheeks, and widely spaced teeth. The elfin face is often accompanied by other physical and developmental features of Williams syndrome, such as cardiovascular abnormalities, growth delays, and intellectual disability.
While there is no cure for Williams syndrome, early intervention services and therapies can help individuals with the condition reach their full potential and lead happy and fulfilling lives. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional if you suspect that you or a loved one may have Williams syndrome, in order to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment and support.