Monday, March 29, 2010

ACM announces funding of Lifting Lives Music Camp at | Tune In Music City

ACM announces funding of Lifting Lives Music Camp at | Tune In Music City:

"The West Coast-based Academy of Country Music is fully extending its charitable reach to Nashville by funding what will now be called the ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp.

The ACM’s $30,000 grant funds scholarships and assures the fiscal health of the camp, which has run for six summers as the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Music Camp. The week-long program, which takes place this summer from June 27-July 2, helps people with Williams Syndrome and other developmental disabilities. All campers are at least 16 years old, and all have an interest in music: People with Williams Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, are often drawn to music, and they have a higher statistical rate of musicality than the general population."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Can individuals with Williams syndrome interpret mental states from moving faces?

Can individuals with Williams syndrome interpret ...:

"We propose that using moving whole face stimuli individuals with WS can infer mental states and the eye region plays a particularly important role in performance."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dian Donnai receives lifetime award in genetics from March of Dimes

Dian Donnai receives lifetime award in genetics from March of Dimes:

"ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., MARCH 26, 2010 — A pioneering professor and investigator at the forefront of genetic services in the United Kingdom and who helped define rare genetic diseases is the 2010 recipient of the March of Dimes/Colonel Harland Sanders Award for lifetime achievement in the field of genetic sciences.

Dian Donnai, a professor of medical genetics at the University of Manchester and the current President of the European Society for Human Genetics, is known for her research on rare genetic diseases, such as Williams syndrome, in which individuals have heart defects and cognitive disabilities."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Teens admit attack on intellectually disabled man |

Teens admit attack on intellectually disabled man |

"Anthony Miles Tamati Watkins, also known as Miles Samson, and Matthew Evans-Kent, both 15, appeared before Judge Brian Callaghan in the Invercargill District Court yesterday where they admitted joint charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and aggravated burglary, stemming from the attack on the man on November 4.

Three adult men, aged 19, 17 and 33, are before the court or have already been sentenced on the same charges for their part in the attack.

The charges are indictable, meaning, despite their age, the pair were dealt with in district court.

Both the charges carry a maximum sentence of 14 years' jail.

According to the police summary of facts, the victim is a 19-year-old man who suffers from a genetic and cardio disorder called Williams Syndrome, giving him the mental age of an 11 or 12-year-old."

Mental Health Concerns in Williams Syndrome: Intervention Considerations and Illustrations from Case Examples

Mental Health Concerns in Williams Syndrome: Intervention Considerations and Illustrations from Case Examples:

"In this article, we review the literature about mental health in people with Williams syndrome, outline the need for mental health treatment in Williams syndrome that is informed by the cognitive and behavioral phenotype, and highlight issues to consider when designing such interventions based on case examples. (Contains 7 figures and 3 tables.)"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Effects of external and internal cues on gait function in Williams syndrome

Effects of external and internal cues on gait function in Williams syndrome:

"Although the WS and DS groups were able to achieve the criterion and normalize stride length in both conditions, the WS group significantly reduced their gait speed and cadence in the externally cued condition when compared to controls. In the internally cued condition, the WS group also showed reduced speed and increased intra-individual variability in speed and stride time. These findings suggest that the primary deficit is not one of difficulty regulating stride length in WS, but rather indicates more widespread dysfunction within visuomotor regions."

Monday, March 22, 2010

PubDB - Williams Syndrome and Memory: A Neuroanatomic and Cognitive Approach

PubDB - Williams Syndrome and Memory: A Neuroanatomic and Cognitive Approach:

"Williams Syndrome (WS) is described as displaying a dissociation within memory systems. As the integrity of hippocampal formation (HF) is determinant for memory performance, we examined HF volumes and its association with memory measures in a group of WS and in a typically development group. A significantly reduced intracranial content was found in WS, despite no differences were observed for HF absolute volumes between groups. When volumes were normalized, left HF was increased in WS. Moreover, a lack of the normal right > left HF asymmetry was observed in WS. No positive correlations were found between volumetric and neurocognitive data in WS. In sum, a relative enlargement of HF and atypical patterns of asymmetry suggest abnormal brain development in WS."

YouTube - Williams Syndrome girl piano 4

YouTube - Williams Syndrome girl piano 4

There are several videos of interest here...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Williams Syndrome Family Hope

Williams Syndrome Family Hope

I was thrilled to see this new contribution to the web!

Some great photos on the front page.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Page Perception in Williams Syndrome

Dr. David Rose [Rethinking Learning Disabilities In The Age of Google] « Just Call Me Ms Frizzle:

This is a good quote to look at in the original source - click the link above.

"We think that when we are showing students the same thing we are standardizing things.” This view goes against the grain how our brains work. Rose shows an example of students with Williams Syndrome and Down Syndrome and how the first sees the details of an image (the Y) and the latter sees the big picture (the D). Neither sees the same image even though on paper the image includes the details and the larger picture.

Students struggle with reading because they do not have the recognition networks, strategic networks, and affective networks. They cannot recognize words, have a plan for reading, or do not have the scaffolding to be able to read.

“Disabilities used to be thought as residential in the individual…disabilities are in the exchange between the individual and his or her environment…what are the demands of the environment around you?”

In order to provide classroom materials for students with different print disabilities you might need to use paper, a computer, different colors, Braille, audio, etc. Changes and adjustments can be made for individuals."

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wheels for Williams

Wheels for Williams - Classic Nation: Classic Car Enthusiasts Network:

Time: May 15, 2010 from 9am to 2pm
Location: Losantville
City/Town: Losantville, Indiana

This is a fundraiser for Williams Syndrome Association. See web page for details.

Williams Syndrome Gathering in Texas

The Paris News:

"Approximately 15 youngsters born with Williams syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, gathered in Paris this past weekend for a day of activities and networking.

Ranging in age from 13 to 21, participants came from Lamar and neighboring counties, the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Oklahoma and Louisiana. “We try to meet three or four times a year so the children can spend time together while the parents visit,” said Karen Justiss, whose son, Kaleb, 14, has Williams syndrome, also took part in the festivities.

The youngsters, sporting Teen Team T-shirts supplied by Howland Pecan Co., rode in a Hummer limo to the Eiffel tower for their group picture. Following the photo opportunity, the group met at the First Baptist Church Family Activity Center where they were greeted by the Paris 4-H Club, whose members brought a selection of farm animals. An archery shoot was another activity the group took part in, followed by a hamburger supper supplied by Sonic.

The group danced to music provided by Marc and Mary Payne then enjoyed game activities and basketball.

The evening ended with a dip in the pool and Jacuzzi at Comfort Suites."

Monday, March 1, 2010

Good Long-Term Outcomes With Cardiovascular Abnormalities and Williams Syndrome

Good Long-Term Outcomes With Cardiovascular Abnormalities and Williams Syndrome:

"NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Most patients with Williams syndrome do not require intervention for cardiovascular abnormalities, and their risk for premature mortality is low, according to a report online in the February 8th American Journal of Cardiology.

The lead author, Dr. R. Thomas Collins II from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, told Reuters Health by email, 'Based on our research, we can tell families the likelihood that their child with Williams will need an intervention on certain lesions and what sort of timeline that will include. A child with mild supravalvular aortic stenosis is highly unlikely to ever need an intervention on that lesion.'

In their study of 270 patients with Williams syndrome, Dr. Collins and his colleagues found that 221 (82%) had cardiovascular abnormalities. The most common defects were supravalvular aortic stenosis (121 patients, 45%), peripheral pulmonary stenosis (99, 37%), aortic coarctation (37, 14%), arterial stenosis (37, 14%), and supravalvular pulmonary stenosis (31, 11%).

Follow-up averaged roughly 9 years but ranged as high as 57 years.

Among patients with supravalvular aortic stenosis, 16 (13%) showed spontaneous improvement in the severity grade during follow-up, and 12 (16%) of the 77 with mild stenosis had complete resolution. Only 12 patients (10%) had progressively more severe supravalvular aortic stenosis during follow-up.

'The prevailing dogma, based on a few papers with very small numbers, was that supravalvular aortic stenosis 'always' progresses,' Dr. Collins said. 'Based on our data, that is not only not always the case; in fact we found that lesions of that severity actually improve more often than they progress, and that unless the patient presented in the first year of life, they never went on to need an intervention for that mild supravalvular aortic stenosis.'

Results were similar for peripheral pulmonary stenosis, with 37 (37%) showing spontaneous improvement. Of the 62 patients with mild disease, 25 (40%) had complete resolution. Only 2 patients with moderate peripheral pulmonary stenosis progressed to severe stenosis."