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Key Fact
Individuals with Williams syndrome can have an earlier onset of puberty

Physical Characteristics of Williams Syndrome


Distinctive faces

Individuals with Williams syndrome tend to have very similar features, these include:

  • a small upturned nose
  • long philtrum (upper lip length)
  • wide mouth
  • small chin
  • puffiness around the eyes
  • teeth can often be misshapen, widely spaced, and smaller than average
  • Individuals with Williams syndrome also tend to have a stellate or white lacy iris pattern, known as a "starburst" 

 

Growth and Endocrine abnormalities

Individuals with Williams syndrome tend to have slow growth in utero and a low birth weight. A modified growth chart should be used to monitor the child's growth. A typical growth chart should be used as a comparison. A slow weight gain is common in children with Williams syndrome, this is often called "failure to thrive".

 

​Puberty can happen much earlier for people with Williams syndrome. Obesity, diabetes and glucose intolerances are also more common, due to the abnormal balance of hormones.

 

Adults with Williams syndrome tend to be significantly smaller than typically developing adults, with their mean height falling below the third percentile.

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