Angelman Syndrome and Schooling

Angelman syndrome is a rare developmental disorder that affects the nervous system. Children with this disorder have cognitive and developmental delays, which can make schooling difficult.

How Angelman syndrome affects children

Children with Angelman syndrome may have balance and coordination problems, which can make walking difficult. Most children with Angelman syndrome cannot participate in contact sports or high-impact exercise.

What parents and schools can do

The parents and caregivers of children with Angelman syndrome should discuss an individualized education plan with their child’s school faculty. This is a map or plan for the child’s education that outlines what accommodations the child will need, and what educational benchmarks they will be able to meet.

Most schools have a physical education requirement, but children with Angelman syndrome may need a specialized exercise program, which would be established by the child’s physician and physical therapist.

Because of their walking difficulties, some children may find it hard to move between classrooms or carry class materials. Parents can work with school administrators to minimize the walking that children have to do, or arrange schedules so the child has more time between classes.

It is also a good idea to meet with the child’s teachers to ensure that they are aware of the child’s condition and know what to expect in terms of symptoms and behavior. It is important to keep a dialogue open between parents and the school to be sure that the child’s needs are fully met.

Parents should also keep a treatment plan on file with the school (and especially the school nurse). A treatment plan is a document that outlines the child’s disease, its symptoms, and available treatments, as well as a description of the child’s medication, including dosage, timing, and side effects. If the school needs to administer medication, this information should be included in the treatment plan. The treatment plan should be updated after every doctor’s visit, even if no changes have been made.


Last updated: Sept. 5, 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.