About Williams Syndrome

Williams syndrome is a rare genetic condition present at birth - it affects 1 in 10,000 worldwide.  It results from the spontaneous deletion of approximately 26-28 genes on the seventh chromosome.  

It can impact anyone, is found equally among men and women, and occurs all over the world in various ethnicities and countries.  

Williams syndrome manifests differently for every individual - abilities and medical concerns exist on a spectrum and can vary greatly.  Individuals with WS may have a variety of medical conditions - most notably with the cardiovascular system.    Additional concerns include kidney problems, high blood pressure, vision problems, digestive and thyroid issues, hypercalcemia, hypersensitive hearing, feeding and sleep problems, and others.  

Developmental delays are expected, alongside learning challenges, problems with attention, spatial relations, and abstract reasoning.  

Individuals with Williams syndrome have characteristic features, which include a small upturned nose, a big wide smile, lacy/starry pattern around the iris, and tend to be small in stature.

 

Williams syndrome also has many gifts! Individuals with WS tend to have striking verbal abilities, highly social personalities, and an affinity for music.  They are friendly, empathetic, beautiful individuals, with smiles that light up the room.

 

Resources and more information can be found on the Williams Syndrome Association's website