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Exploring the prevalence and phenomenology of repetitive behaviours and abnormal sensory processing in children with Williams Syndrome

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Emily Janes, Dr Debbie Riby, Professor Jacqueline Rodgers


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Background A small amount of research with individuals who have Williams Syndrome (WS) suggests that children with the condition may be vulnerable to sensory processing abnormalities and present with repetitive and restricted behaviours.Methods Parents of 21 children with WS aged 6-15 years completed a semi-structured interview designed to elicit the form, frequency, impact and developmental course of a range of sensory processing abnormalities and repetitive behaviours.Results Findings indicate that sensory processing difficulties are predominantly characterised by hypersensitivities, particularly in relation to vestibular, auditory, gustatory and proprioceptive functioning. Parents also reported the presence of a range of restricted and repetitive behaviours, which were often associated with their child's sensory symptoms.Conclusions This study makes a significant contribution to our understanding of sensory functioning and repetitive behaviours in WS. It also highlights the need for a multidisciplinary assessment of the difficulties experienced by children with the disorder.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rodgers J; Riby DM; Janes E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Intellectual Disability Research

Year: 2014

Volume: 58

Issue: 8

Pages: 746-757

Print publication date: 01/08/2014

Online publication date: 20/08/2013

Acceptance date: 08/07/2013

ISSN (print): 0964-2633

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2788

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/jir.12086


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