What is Prader-Willi syndrome?
Parder willi syndrome is caused by genetic defect on chromosomes number 15 which happens by chance. The condition is rare and affecting no more than one every 15000 children born in England.
What are the Sign and symptoms of Prader-Willi?
- Poor muscle tone – A primary sign during infancy is poor muscle tone (hypotonia). Babies may rest with their elbows and knees loosely extended instead of fixed and they may feel floppy or like rag dolls when they’re held.
- Delayed motor development – Toddlers with Prader-Willi syndrome often reach milestones in physical movements — for example, sitting up or walking — later than other children do.
- Distinct facial features – Children may be born with almond-shaped eyes, a narrowing of the head at the temples, a turned-down mouth and a thin upper lip.
- Failure to thrive – Infants may have a poor sucking reflex due to decreased muscle tone. Because poor sucking makes feeding difficult, they tend to gain weight slowly.
- Lack of eye coordination (strabismus) – The child’s eyes may not move together — they may cross or wander to the side.
- Generally poor responsiveness – A baby may seem unusually tired, respond poorly to stimulation, have a hard time waking up or have a weak cry.
- Speech problems – Speech is often delayed. Poor articulation of words may be an on-going problem into adulthood.
- Behavioural problems – Children and adults may at times be stubborn, angry, controlling or manipulative. They may throw temper tantrums especially when denied food. They may not tolerate changes in their routine. They may also develop obsessive-compulsive or repetitive behaviours or both. Other mental health disorders such as skin picking may develop.
About us and Prader-Willi
We are specialist neuro physiotherapists with experience in treating Prader-Willi. We implement various methods of treatment including Bobath, Carr and Conductive Education.
As specialised neuro physiotherapist we assess the child thoroughly and create a plan of treatment to cater for the needs of this child. The assessment is usually two hours long and the child goes through an extensive testing to establish their level of abilities.
We work with eye movements and believe that due to low tone and strabismus the child’s learning is further delayed. We devise games to improve strabismus and we encourage the child to be examined by behaviour optometrist; working with glasses to improve eye tracking because this is vital for reading and writing and cognitive skills. We have devised a simple therapy which improves the sensory / motor skills and improves the posture and prevents scoliosis. The therapy should be fun and something that child wishes to do and enjoys repeating as part of his/her routine of daily living.