Understanding Williams Syndrome: Behavioral Patterns and Interventions

By Eleanor Semel; Sue R. Rosner | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER
7

Intervention Approaches
for Maladaptive Behaviors

WSs are often at the mercy of overwhelming fears and anxieties, frustrating demands, inordinate distractibility, uncontrollable impulsivity, and acute resistance to change. In many cases, they have little in the way of resources to help them withstand these pressures. Because of the high frequency of behavior problems and occasional clinical disorder, most of the families of WSs live under unstable and stressful conditions. Parents, teachers, and others are often troubled by WSs' inappropriate behavior and their continual need for attention and supervision. Few caretakers can avoid feeling discouraged, at least at times, by their lack of control over WSs' maladaptive behavior.

One of the major reasons for working actively to resolve or minimize the behavior problems of WSs is the effect they may have on family, teachers, classmates, neighbors, and those in the workplace. The maladaptive behaviors of WSs may also lead to their rejection or ostracism. This would be difficult for any person to accept, but it can be devastating to WSs because of the high value they place on social contact and approval. It is also essential to provide specialized kinds of treatment for those WSs who exhibit the severe behavior problems or behavioral disorders sometimes associated with WS. Clearly, it is important to address the various forms of maladaptive behavior that WSs may demonstrate.

The next section provides a brief overview of evaluation and diagnosis of the various forms of maladaptive behavior displayed by WSs. This is followed by extensive discussion of interventions that may be applicable to each of the six types of behavior problems associated with WS (see chapter

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