Speech and Language Delays in Angelman Syndrome and How to Deal With Them

Speech and Language Delays in Angelman Syndrome and How to Deal With Them

Caring for a child with a developmental disorder such as Angelman syndrome is challenging. Every child develops at a different rate and faces unique challenges. One issue that can be difficult to cope with for the parents of a child with Angelman syndrome is speech or language delays.

What are speech and language delays?

Speech and language delays are delays in meeting benchmarks for infant and child learning. Speech is the expression of language, the way that sounds and words are formed by the mouth, tongue, and throat. Language is the system of getting and giving information in a meaningful way. It refers to understanding and being understood through communication, whether verbal, nonverbal, or written.

While every child is different, there are approximate ages at which children normally reach specific levels. Many infants babble, even before their first birthday, and toddlers might know about 20 words by the time they are 18 months old.

Children with a language delay might be able to pronounce words correctly but have difficulty putting words together into phrases. Children with a speech delay might understand phrasing, but have difficulty pronouncing words.

Speech and language in Angelman syndrome

Children with Angelman syndrome are usually delayed in meeting benchmarks for child learning — they may not babble as infants, and it may take longer for them to form their first words. Some children with Angelman syndrome may be nonverbal or may have difficulty expressing their thoughts in clear phrases. Speaking is controlled by the coordination of the muscles of the throat, tongue, and mouth by the brain; this coordination is something with which Angelman syndrome patients struggle.

Speech therapists can help Angelman syndrome patients with exercises to strengthen muscles and build coordination for speech. They can also help patients and their caregivers develop strategies for communication that rely less on verbal communication.

 

Last updated: Sept. 3, 2019

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Angelman Syndrome News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. 

Emily holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa and is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated with a Masters in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds a Bachelors in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Central Arkansas. Emily is passionate about science communication, and, in her free time, writes and illustrates children’s stories.
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Özge has a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Developmental Biology from Queen Mary University of London. She worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester for six years in the field of Behavioural Neurology before moving into science communication. She worked as the Research Communication Officer at a London based charity for almost two years.
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Emily holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa and is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated with a Masters in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds a Bachelors in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Central Arkansas. Emily is passionate about science communication, and, in her free time, writes and illustrates children’s stories.
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One comment

  1. Dussol says:

    Happy to read about the progress in research for the treatment of angel man syndrome. Being a father of an angelman child,I wait with full of hope to see my son calling ‘daddy’ one day.

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