Understanding Williams Syndrome: Behavioral Patterns and Interventions, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Understanding Williams Syndrome

Behavioral Patterns and Interventions, 1st Edition

By Eleanor Semel, Sue R. Rosner


480 pages

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pub: 2003-01-01
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Comprehensive and readable, Understanding Williams Syndrome: Behavioral Patterns and Interventions is an essential guide for all those professionally, scientifically, or personally involved with this so frequently misunderstood and underserved population--psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and other mental health professionals; special educators and vocational counselors; speech-language, physical, and occupational therapists; audiologists; physicians; and parents.

In the last 20 years, Williams syndrome has captured the interest of large numbers of scientists and attracted considerable media attention in spite of its rarity (estimated at no more than one in 30,000 births). Those diagnosed display a unique pattern of behavioral, cognitive, and physical limitations and strengths with fascinating neurogenetic implications--a pattern that poses enormous challenges to their parents and caregivers.

The authors, a specialist in learning disabilities and a developmental psychologist, review basic information about Williams syndrome, its medical conditions, paradoxical profile, and neurobiological mechanisms; and discuss distinctive features of the language and perceptual and motor performance of children and adults with the syndrome.

Other features include:

* Strategies for working with patients.

* An examination of the difference between Williams syndrome and other developmental disorders.

* Problem-specific alternatives for treatment.

* Analysis of new directions in research, clinical intervention, education, and systems for care delivery.

Throughout, they stress variations among individuals and subgroups in ability level, skills, talents, and problem severity; and emphasize the necessity of recognizing these components in planning treatment on an individual basis.


"[The book] offers a valuable illustration of the way in which treatment and intervention depend on a solid foundation of basic science….Overall, [it] represents an important contribution, both as a sourcebook and as a confirmation of the importance of parallel and interacting programmes of basic science and intervention."

Williams Syndrome Foundation UK Magazine

"In Understanding Williams Syndrome, Eleanor Semel and Sue Rosner provide a fascinating overview on how [this] disorder has fared as a test of direct genotype-phenotype links….the book…plays a crucial role in relating research to intervention….The reader is left with a sense of encouragement that with this growing body of (sometimes very practically informed) knowledge, the prospects for individuals with the disorder to lead fulfilling lives are increasingly bright."


"Highly readable and well organized, the book offers a wealth of information on the behavioral patterns of individuals with WS in four major areas: language, perceptual-motor functioning, specific aptitudes, and behavioral problems….Semel and Rosner succeed in making their book useful as well as informative….educational and clinical guidelines are integrated into a broader framework, which provides a general intervention approach to education and treatment of persons with WS….Besides its significant contribution to the research on WS, the book exemplifies the value of the study of atypical populations to the study of language."

Language in Society

"…the first comprehensive source book on the behavioral patterns of individuals with Williams syndrome. Not only does it summarize and analyze the research literature, it…provides problem-specific interventions, general guidelines for addressing problems…and innovative techniques for developing the potential of many individuals with Williams syndrome….combining research findings with real-life examples, clinical observations, and anecdotal reports…[it] goes beyond generalities by describing variation among individuals with the syndrome…as well as subgroups…[The authors]…are the ideal people to pull these strands together, both with respect to research and to intervention…"

Ursula Bellugi

Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, The Salk Institute; From the Foreword

Table of Contents

Contents: U. Bellugi, Foreword. Preface. Introduction. Language Skills and Problems. Intervention Approaches for Language Problems. Perceptual and Motor Performance. Specific Aptitudes. Maladaptive Behaviors. Intervention Approaches for Maladaptive Behaviors. Summary and Conclusions.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Child
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Child & Adolescent