Angelman syndrome

Angelman syndrome is a genetic condition which affects the nervous system and causes severe physical and learning difficulties.

A child with Angelman syndrome will normally show signs of developmental delay and will begin to miss milestones at 6-12 months. Children with Angelman syndrome commonly display the following behaviours:

  • Laughter and smiling without prompting
  • Restlessness and hyperactivity
  • Short attention span
  • Difficulties sleeping and needing less sleep that other children
  • Easily excited, often with flapping hands

Because Angelman syndrome has a significant and profound impact on a child’s ability to learn, it is very likely that a child with Angelman syndrome will have special educational needs (SEN).

Often the focus of special educational needs support is upon behaviour but a child with Angelman syndrome may also require physical support such as back and leg braces. It is important that communication methods, approaches to learning, behaviour support and physical activities such as swimming are recognised as being essential elements of education support. If these are not being provided, special educational needs advice should be sought. In our experience children with Angelman syndrome will require an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).


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