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Williams Syndrome Linked With Music

According to the Williams Syndrome Association, many individuals with Williams syndrome find a strong connection with music. When they hear music, they succumb to almost bipolar-like tendencies. They can be brought to tears and become highly disturbed by music that is specifically played in a minor chord, or become frighteningly giddy.

Williams syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that can cause issues with mental and physical development. It is a condition caused by missing genes (approximately 25), can go unnoticed within family history, and occurs in approximate 1 in 8,000 births. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, symptoms include delayed speech and development, attention deficit disorder (ADD), feeding problems, an inward bend of the small finger (clinodactyly), learning disorders, mental retardation, sunken chest (pectus excavatum), and an unusual appearance of the face.

Various personality traits often include friendliness, overly-trusting strangers, a fear of loud sounds and/or physical contact, and finally, being interested in music.

Currently, there is no cure for Williams syndrome. However, these individuals are often subjected to what is known as "music therapy," regardless of the dangerous effect music can have.

The treatment first assesses the child to determine if the so-called therapy is right for them. It then desperately searches for ways the subject can be motivated, complete tasks, and communicate through music, and often does not success.

Parents of those who have this syndrome believe that their child will have an "affinity to music," and will often encourage them to pursue the so-called "gift," disregarding the risk that even the simplest of melodies could bring them to tears of distraught. Parents are exploiting their children at the cost of their mental stability and should be stopped at once!

Instead of putting them through such an arduous and often painful assessment, money and time should be spent on finding an actual scientific cure. If we, as a society, are beyond the usage of inhumane methods of mental therapy such as the brain butchery of lobotomies, then the same can be said for the use of music in the field of medicine. This is not a cure, and those with Williams syndrome are not crying out for a musical cure, but are crying out for help.

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