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May is Williams Syndrome Awareness Month. It is a rare genetic condition that affects over 1 in 10,000 people worldwide. If you teach in a special needs classroom or work in an adult day habilitation program, it is likely you have experienced working and teaching a student or individual diagnosed with Williams Syndrome. Below you will find some interesting facts and statistics on the disorder:
- It is a genetic condition that is present a birth.
- It is a developmental disorder
- Tend to have a mild or moderate intellectual disability.
- It is also known as Beuren Syndrome and Williams-Beuren Syndrome.
- The symptoms were first described by John C.P. Williams in 1961.
- A year later, German Physician, A.J. Beuren described three new incidents of patients with similar facial features.
- It is caused by the spontaneous deletion of 26-28 genes on Chromosome #7
- The deletion is caused by either the sperm or the egg.
- The deletion is present at the time of conception
- The most common symptoms of Williams Syndrome includes unusual facial features and heart defects.
- The diagnosis is typically confirmed after identifying facial features and genetic testing.
- An individual with Williams Syndrome has a 50% chance of passing the disorder on to their children.
- Williams Syndrome affects 1 in 10,000 people worldwide.
- An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people in the United States are affected.
- It occurs in both males and females equally
- It is found in every culture
- Individuals with Williams Syndrome tend to be overly friendly.
- People with Williams Syndrome often have difficulty with visual-spatial tasks
- Congenital heart defects (CHD) occur in approximately 75 percent of children
- By the age of 30, the majority of individuals with Williams Syndrome have pre-diabetes or diabetes.
National Organizations for Rare Diseases