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Angelman Syndrome and Special Education

Angelman Syndrome ("AS") is a genetic disorder that causes developmental disabilities and neurological problems, such as difficulty speaking, balancing and walking and, in some cases, seizures. Frequent smiles and outbursts of laughter are common for people with AS, and many have happy, excitable personalities.

Characteristic AS signs and symptoms include:

•Developmental delays, including lack of crawling or babbling at 6 to 12 months, low cognitive abilities

•Lack of or minimal speech

•Inability to walk, move or balance well (ataxia)

•Trembling movement of arms and legs

•Frequent smiling and laughter

•Happy, excitable personality

Other signs and symptoms may include:

•Seizures, usually beginning between 2 and 3 years of age

•Stiff or jerky movements

•Small head size, with flatness in the back of the head

•Crossing of the eyes

•Tongue thrusting

•Walking with arms up in the air

•A lower jaw that juts out

•Light pigmentation in hair, skin and eyes (hypopigmentation)

AS is a rare disorder that most people have never heard of. However, much research is being conducted to find a cure and efforts to educate the public continue at this time. In fact, NBC profiled a family in Los Angeles and their beautiful son in 2010. The story is very educational and heartwarming. http://www.cureangelman.org/newsandevents-video.html

Most children with AS present with many unique cognitive, educational, social, physical and communication challenges. Educational interventions must be comprehensive, within the least restrictive environment and uniquely designed for each individual child. Many options may be appropriate for children with AS including a self-contained classroom, general education placement with aide support or a separate school for children with special needs.

It is also very important for children with AS to exposed to typical peers as frequently as possible. No particular placement is optimal for all students with AS. Additionally, related services are extremely important for children with AS including speech and language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, adaptive physical education and augmentative communication services.

Contact Our Office: If you have any questions about your child's special education services, Contact us by email or call us at 714-602-1498 or 866-781-7723 (toll free) for more information. We welcome your participation in the discussions on this blog. Feel free to comment on posts that interest you.

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Augustin Egelsee L.L.P.
8141 East Kaiser Boulevard
Suite 315
Anaheim Hills, CA 92808

Toll Free: 866-781-7723
Phone: 714-602-1498
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