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Many individuals with WAGR syndrome have challenging behaviors. These behaviors can make everyday life difficult for the person and their family, and may interfere with family life, school, work, and participating in the community. There are many possible causes for these behaviors, which may involve excessive worry, autistic-like behaviors, screaming/yelling, aggression toward self or others, tantruming or "meltdowns." Getting the right diagnosis is the first step. With information, practical tools, behavioral interventions, and in some cases medication, parents and children can learn to cope with and overcome challenging behaviors.
There are many possible causes for challenging behaviors in individuals with WAGR syndrome. Getting the right diagnosis is the key to finding effective treatment.
Learn more about how to help your doctor discover the cause of your child's challenging behaviors:
More than 90 percent of individuals with WAGR syndrome have Auditory Processing Disorder (APD).
APD affects the way the brain receives, organizes, and processes sound. Children and adults with APD usually have normal hearing. But they cannot process the information they hear in the same way as others do. This leads to difficulty recognizing and interpreting sounds, especially sounds involved with speech.
APD may be mild, moderate, or severe. Mild to moderate APD may result in problems following directions or understanding conversation in a noisy environment, such as a classroom or restaurant. Severe APD may interfere with understanding or developing speech.
Early diagnosis and treatment of APD can make a big difference in a child's behavior and ability to communicate and learn.
Some individuals with WAGR syndrome have a condition called Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). People with SPD sometimes exhibit extreme responses to sights, sounds, or physical sensations. These responses include screaming, tantruming or "meltdowns," withdrawal or "shutting down," or aggression towards themselves or others. When SPD is present, treatment may help these individuals to become calmer and learn to regulate their response to their environment.
Learn more about assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of Sensory Processing Disorder:
Behavioral and psychiatric disorders that may occur in people with WAGR syndrome include:
Accurate diagnosis is important to prescribing a treatment plan that effectively addresses the child's needs
The Challenging Behaviors Toolkit is a comprehensive guide to strategies and resources to address these behaviors. This Toolkit was originally developed for children with autism, but it can be very effective for people with WAGR syndrome as well.
In some cases, medication may be suggested for the treatment of challenging behavior.
While many children may benefit from medication, families often struggle with making this decision.
This "Medication Decision Aid" was designed to help parents clarify their values and goals, and make it easier to talk with your doctor about whether medication is right for your child.