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When someone has Williams syndrome, they may have a learning disability. They can be very chatty and friendly to other people. They also have faces that look similar to other people who have Williams syndrome.

What is it like for siblings if their brother or sister has Williams syndrome?

Lots of siblings get on really well with their brothers and sisters who have Williams syndrome. They still have fun and play together. However, people with Williams syndrome can find loud noises upsetting. This means that siblings may have to be careful not to make sudden noises, which can be difficult. They can also be very friendly to strangers and siblings may feel embarrassed by this when they are out with their families.

What causes Williams syndrome?

Williams syndrome is a genetic disorder which can affect girls and boys. It is very rare which means that not many people have it. People are born with Williams syndrome. It cannot be caught like a cold or flu.

What does it mean?

People with Williams syndrome might have heart problems. They may need regular check-ups for this. Many people with Williams syndrome are afraid of loud noises and babies with Williams syndrome can have difficulty feeding. Many people with Williams syndrome do not grow as quickly as other people and some people with Williams syndrome might have problems with their teeth.

What treatment is there?

There is no cure for Williams syndrome. It is a lifelong condition but a number of the difficulties caused by it can be treated.

Different treatments might help such as:

  • physiotherapy
  • occupational therapy
  • speech and language therapy
  • music therapy
  • psychological therapy

Not everyone with Williams syndrome will need every therapy or treatment.