Collaborate and Listen

Based on what you have learned about Williams Syndrome, what would you expect Jake’s strengths and weaknesses to be?

  • Expressive language is a relative strength, but many children with WS do not have the same lang ability as TD peers

  • Concrete vocabulary (names of objects, actions, descriptors)

  • Phonological processing

  • Verbal short-term memory 

  • Easily social with others


How would you assess at least three areas of Jake’s speech and language abilities?

  1. OME

  2. Hearing test

  3. Speech - articulation, GFTA or informal speech sound analysis

  4. Language - receptive, expressive

  5. Language - Pragmatics

  6. Cognition - Developmental Tests of Visual-Motor Integration (VMI), or Token Test for Children-2


List two brief goal areas and how you would target them for your first session with Jake.

1. Goal area: relational/ conceptual vocabulary, and grammar

- before/after: giving and following directions (can target in a game); creating schedule of Jake's day and explaining what he did before therapy and what he will do after

2. Goal area: Pragmatics

- improve conversation skills (e.g., appropriate physical distance, how and when to interrupt, asking questions when you do not understand, topic maintenance), 

- cooperative play skills (e.g., joining others in play, sharing, taking turns, compromising), 

- friendship management (e.g., respecting personal boundaries, getting attention in positive ways, sharing a friend), 

- and emotion management skills (e.g., recognizing feelings, problem solving, empathy, conflict management) 

3. Working memory

- graphic organizers

- as related to reading comprehension, comprehension strategies


Compare and contrast characteristics of Williams Syndrome and one of the following: ASD, Down Syndrome. 

- 2 similarities

- 2 differences

ASD and WS, 2 similarities: 

  • Intellectual disability can frequently co-occur in both ASD and WS

  • Both usually present with developmental delays including delays in language and communication  

DS and WS, 2 similarities:

  • Low tone that can result in oral motor and/or feeding problems

  • Both children with DS and WS tend to be very social and outgoing and can exhibit a lot of pragmatic strengths in addition to challenges 

ASD and WS, 2 differences:

  • A common feature of ASD can be an inflexibility/rigidity in behavior and thinking which is not as common in WS

  • ASD typically presents with restricted areas of interests/behaviors and/or sensory differences which are not typically seen in WS

DS and WS, 2 differences:

  • In WS, expressive language is generally considered to be a relative strength, whereas in DS, expressive language tends to be a relative weakness 

  • Differences in facial characteristics, specifically in the lips and teeth (WS = wide mouth, long upper lip, wide-set teeth) 


List three other professionals that you would likely collaborate with on an interdisciplinary team for Jake.

cardiologists, endocrinologists, nephrologists, audiologists, otolaryngologists (ENT), ophthalmologists, orthopedists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists.