Smith-Magenis syndrome

Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS) is a genetic condition which causes noticeable physical characteristics and some cognitive difficulties. Children with SMS tend to have mild to moderate learning difficulties.

Children with SMS tend to develop feeding difficulties during infancy, weak muscle tone and have significantly disturbed sleep caused by poor body clock synchronisation. Children with SMS can also demonstrate a range of behaviours including possessiveness of parents/carers, fixed routines, self-hugging, aggressive outbursts, self-harming, head-hitting and self-biting. Conversely, children with SMS are often also very charming and engaging.

Support for children with SMS will typically include behaviour support programmes, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy. The style and pace of education will also need to be varied according to their learning difficulty.

In our experience, SMS can have a pervasive impact on education which can result in limited school attendance if not fully catered for. SMS can result in special educational needs (SEN) and, in our experience, typically requires an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).


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