Angelman Syndrome and Exercise

Angelman syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the nervous system. Children born with the disorder experience physical and mental developmental delays, are slow at learning to crawl and walk, and may face life-long problems with balance and coordination. Weakness in the muscles of the back can cause abnormal curvature of the spine (scoliosis). Many patients also experience seizures.

No cure has been found for Angelman syndrome, but treatments can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. One treatment is exercise, which has helped many patients to improve their strength, coordination, balance, and posture.

Exercise in Angelman syndrome

A physiotherapist can develop an exercise program to help children with Angelman syndrome to safely build their strength, balance, and coordination. The children do the exercises under the supervision of the physiotherapist, or under the supervision of their parents or caregivers when performing the exercises at home.

Some patients may benefit from walking or swimming, while others may see improvements with equine therapy or dance lessons, for example.

Exercise in school

Most schools have a physical education requirement, so for children with Angelman syndrome, parents and caregivers need to discuss with physicians and physical therapists what exercises are safe for these young students. This information and any special accommodations will have to be communicated to the child’s school and teachers, and may take the form of a treatment plan, which details information about Angelman syndrome, and the treatments and their possible side effects.

Schools can also work with parents to develop an individualized education plan that lays out any special accommodations, and ways the school will work with the child and their parents to ensure that the child’s educational needs are met.


Last updated: Sept. 4, 2019


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.