Is hyperactivity common in Angelman syndrome?
Hyperactivity is extremely common in children with Angelman syndrome. Children with Angelman syndrome have difficulty staying still and are often constantly in motion. Other behaviors, such as hyper-excitability and hand-flapping, appear to decrease with age. In childhood, impulse control, and unwanted behaviors such as grabbing, pinching and biting may be an issue, however behavior modification therapy can be helpful in these situations. Most children with Angelman syndrome do not require medication for their hyperactivity, however some children may benefit from this. Along with hyperactivity, a short attention span is quite common, however, this may also improve with age.
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Why is laughter and happiness so common in children with Angelman syndrome?
Individuals with Angelman syndrome (AS) commonly have a happy, hyper-excitable disposition, and may have frequent bursts of laughter that are not associated with anything in particular . It is not known why laughter is so common in AS. Although babies with AS typically have developmental delays, persistent social smiling, giggling and chuckling are common. This happy, excitable nature is thought to contribute to sleep disorders, which are common in individuals with Angelman syndrome. Although this is a frequent trait of individuals with Angelman syndrome, like anyone, individuals with Angelman syndrome are not always happy, and some children Angelman syndrome are prone to bouts of irritability.
How are sleep problems treated in Angelman syndrome?
Reports from parents and studies of children with Angelman syndrome (AS) have identified common sleep disturbances, including night-time wakefulness and a decreased need for sleep. In fact, apart from seizures, sleep disturbances are one of the most frequently encountered issues. Consultation with a medical specialist is recommended to determine which treatment(s) may be most helpful. Parents have reported success with a number of techniques, including behavioral treatment, prescription sedatives, and a variety of homeopathic remedies.
How are speech problems treated in Angelman syndrome?
Speech and language problems are typical in Angelman syndrome (AS), and overall, most individuals do not speak, or have very limited speech. For this reason, gesturing, signing (including sign language) and assistive devices and technologies that employ the use of graphics, words, and symbols can be extremely beneficial. Children with AS often have a strong desire to interact with others, but if they have difficulty communicating, behavioral problems may arise. Helping facilitate communication between parents, family members, teachers, therapists, and peers allows for a better quality of life for individuals with AS.
The Angelman Syndrome Foundation has a page on their website dedicated to communication aids for individuals with AS at: http://www.angelman.org/resources-education/assistive-technology-aac/.