Angelman syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes physical and intellectual disabilities.
Angelman syndrome patients experience walking problems and compromised motor skills. Physiotherapy exercises can help to improve mobility. A physiotherapist can recommend braces to help with walking difficulties, and back braces to help prevent scoliosis or curvature of the spine.
Children with Angelman syndrome often experience anxiety, which can lead to challenging behaviors such as self-injury or aggression. They also tend to be hyperactive and have short attention spans. Behavioral therapy can help address these challenging behaviors.
Angelman syndrome patients may struggle to express themselves verbally. Speech and language therapy can help to improve verbal communication skills or help to find alternative means of communication. Patients can benefit from learning a sign language or using an augmentative and alternative communication application such as “Speak for Yourself.”
Children with Angelman syndrome can participate in mainstream education, but they require an individual education plan (IEP). An IEP contains curriculum modifications and special accommodations to meet the child’s educational needs. Specific teaching techniques, such as the ABA chaining technique, have been shown to be effective for children with Angelman syndrome.
These young patients can learn and progress, but they do it in their own way and at their own pace, so their intellectual capabilities are not to be underestimated. Teachers, parents, and caregivers should try to enable children to do as many things as possible on their own, which usually makes them proud of their accomplishments and motivates them for further progress.
Older children and adults with Angelman syndrome tend to be overweight due to multiple factors such as genetic disposition, an abnormal sense of satiety, and mobility problems. Therefore, patients should adopt a healthy lifestyle to control excessive weight gain.
Last updated: September 4, 2019
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