Written by Stephen M. Edelson, Ph.D.
Williams Syndrome is a genetic disorder characterized by mild mental retardation. It is a rare disorder in which a portion of DNA material on chromosome 7 is missing. The prevalence in the population is somewhere between 1 out of 20,000 to 50,000 births.
Many people with Williams Syndrome exhibit autistic behaviors. This includes: developmental and language delays, problems in gross motor skills, hypersensitivity to sounds, being picky eaters, and perseverating.
These individuals differ from the typical autistic individual because they also have cardiovascular abnormalities, high blood pressure, elevated calcium levels, and are very sociable. They also have unique pixie-like facial features--almond shaped eyes, oval ears, full lips, small chins, narrow faces, and broad mouths.
If you would like more information, contact:
Williams Syndrome Association
P.O. Box 17873
San Diego, CA 92177-8373