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Cri du chat syndrome is a chromosome disorder. People who have this often have physical and learning disabilities. They may have a cry that sounds like the mewing of a cat and they may also be small and have a smaller than average head size.

What is it like for siblings if their brother or sister has Cri du chat syndrome?      


Lots of siblings get on really well with their brothers and sisters who have Cri du chat syndrome. They still have fun and play together. However, people with Cri du chat syndrome can need lots of extra attention from a parent, and need help with things like washing, dressing and speaking which can make siblings feel left out.


What causes Cri du chat syndrome?

People are born with Cri du chat syndrome. You cannot catch it like a cold or get it when you are older. People with Cri du chat syndrome have something different in their genes and this affects how they look and how they develop.


What does this mean?

Each person with Cri du chat syndrome is different. They may have problems with things like walking and balancing, riding a bike or playing with toys. They may also struggle with speaking, drawing and writing, using a spoon or fork, or getting dressed by themselves. They may have difficulty understanding words or ideas, explaining how they feel or understanding other people’s feelings.

People who have Cri du chat syndrome may have a curved spine and need treatment for this, they may get lots of ear infections and also have difficulties with their hearts and their hearing.

What treatment is there?

There is no cure for Cri du chat syndrome but people who have it will get lots of help from doctors, nurses, teachers and social workers to help them cope with things they find difficult and  help them to learn new skills.


Information approved by the Cri du Chat Support Group October 2023