Developmental delay, functional limitations
- Actual cognitive abilities may be higher than testing indicates because of the attention deficits, hyperactivity, and lack of speech and motor control.
- May differ from others with significant intellectual disability because of their ability to understand some language
- Most need support to live independently as adults.
Movement and balance disorders
- A small number of children are unable to walk (10%).
- Children with AS who learn to walk often start between ages 2.5 and 6 years.
- Gait may appear jerky and stiff.
- Forearms may be flexed and/or pronated (palms down).
- Tremors occur in limbs.
- Movements may be unsteady, clumsy, quick, or jerky. They may tend to lean or lurch forward.
- Increased motor activity is present.
- Tongue is often out of mouth; drooling and a wide mouth are present.
- Apparent happy demeanor. This behavior may indicate something other than happiness, including pain.
- Easily excitable, frequent laughter
- Often, hand flapping or waving
- Short attention span
- Some behavior changes may occur due to certain medications.
Speech impairment with no words or minimal words
- Receptive and non-verbal communication skills higher than verbal ones
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices may improve communication.