Redbridge SERC

William’s Syndrome


William's Syndrome is

  • a rare genetic condition
  • a random condition and is non-hereditary
  • a condition that affects the chromosome structure

Children are affected to different degrees, 75% of children with WS have learning difficulties.

William's people have an unique pattern of emotional, physical and mental strengths and weaknesses.

Fact sheets

Training / Help

Hatton Outreach is normally the Outreach Service who would support pupils with William's Syndrome.


Screenshot for video: Tomcat adapted trikes

Tomcat adapted trikes

Tomcat Trikes in action

Screenshot for video: Williams Syndrome and music

Williams Syndrome and music

Students with William's Syndrome are often musically gifted. This is the first piano lesson for Lorraine.

Screenshot for video: A young man with Williams Syndrome

A young man with Williams Syndrome

This is a 6 minute video where a young man with Williams Syndrome talks about his life. A good training video.

Learning Aids

Twinkl Website great resources

Twinkl Website great resources

Available from: Twinkl resources

Highly recommended This is a great site with great clear resources for Literacy, Numeracy, Assessment, Language, Rewards, Visual timetable, Curriculum areas

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the key issues for a teacher to know relating to William's Syndrome?

    Students who have William's Syndrome can be confusing to teach because they present as having high level verbal and communication abilities, but these tend to mask significant difficulties with;

    • comprehension
    • attention
    • hyperactivity
    • visuo- spatial / perceptual skills
    • delayed motor skills
    • hypersensitive to loud noises
  • Do students with William's Syndrome have difficulties with social skills?

    Students with William's Syndrome

    • are often very friendly (at times over friendly) to adults, and will often seek out adult company.
    • can find making and keeping peers friends difficult
    • can at times antagonise their peers
    • can have a tendency to worry excessively about others


  • Is there any treatment for Williams Syndrome?
    • Heart conditions /blood vessel narrowing – monitoring of blood pressure / heart surgery if required
    • Physiotherapy to help with joint stiffness
    • Motor programme e.g. Healthy Hands / Smart moves – contact Newbridge Outreach
    • Speech therapy when child is very young.
  • How many children are born with William's Syndrome each year?

    William's syndrome;

    • affects 1 in 25,000 births.
    • occurs in roughly 75 new cases in UK each year.
    • children have mild-> moderate learning difficulties
  • What are the general weaknesses of students who have Williams Syndrome?
    • visuospatial construction (the skills used to copy patterns, draw, or write).
    • abstract language
    • easily distracted - more than 50 % of children with WS have ADD or ADHD
    • 50 % have specific phobias e.g. loud noises
    • very trusting
    • some pupils with WS worry excessively
  • What are the characteristics of William's Syndrome?

    Students with WS can have

    • distinctive facial appearance- puffiness around the eyes
    • short nose with broad nasal tip
    • wide mouth, full lips and small chin.
    • short stature
    • limited mobility in their joints
    • curvature of the spine.
    • inability to bend little finger.
    • partially missing teeth
    • skin that covers the inner corner of the eye.
    • a tendency to be over friendly and high levels of empathy with anxiety.


  • What are the strengths of pupils who have William's Syndrome?
    • verbal short term memory and language
    • concrete and practical language
    • older children with WS can usually speak fluently and use good grammar
    • interested in music

Family Resources

William’s Syndrome Factsheet


You can download a factsheet from this link.

It provides information relating to;

  • What is William's Syndrome?
  • Is there any treatment?
  • What is the prognosis?
  • Is there any research being under taken?
  • Links to organisations

The William’s Syndrome Foundation


The William's Syndrome Foundation provides information and support.

It has succinct information relating to;

  • summary pack, ideal to download to give to staff
  • behaviour
  • parent's support and personal experiences
  • mental implications
  • dental issues
  • musical talents and how to develop
  • a greater range of video's all stored in You Tube format


Contact a family


A UK wide charity providing advice, information and support to parents of all disabled children. 

Outreach Services

Hatton Outreach Service

020 8551 4131
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This specialist outreach support and consultancy service provides support for individual pupils in mainstream primary schools.

The outreach service works with pupils who have a range of significant language, social and learning needs.

Some pupils may have a statement of special educational needs, while others will have significant needs and working at school action plus.

Occupational Therapy

020 8924 6111

The Occupational Therapy Team are now based at Redbridge Child Development Centre (0 -19yrs), previously known as The Kenwood Centre in Barkingside.

Little Heath Outreach Service

020 8599 4864
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Support can be provided for students with:

  • language and communication difficulties including Autistic Spectrum Disorders and Asperger’s Syndrome;
  • specific learning difficulties;
  • general learning difficulties.
  • specific language difficulties;