Young adults with Williams Syndrome: Identifying interests.

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Milne, Harry
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Brendan Bartlett, Fiona Bryer, Rick Roebuck

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2003
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Crown Plaza, Surfers Paradise, QLD

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Abstract

Identifying the interests of young adults with Williams syndrome (WS) (Williams, Barratt-Boyes, & Lowe, 1961) has become a pressing issue during the last decade, following the recent identification of the genetic code by Toland's laboratory (Toland, 1996). The development of a distinct behavioural phenotype that facilitates the identification of their condition has made it possible to differentiate between the special needs, interests and abilities of persons with WS and those of persons with other conditions. Increasing numbers of children and adults have been diagnosed with WS. One group, identified for their interest and achievements in music, formed the sample for an exploratory study. This paper provides a report of part of that research project, which focused on the participants' academic attainments and interests. Data on numeracy and literacy achievement levels were derived from two versions of an open-ended questionnaire administered respectively and individually to the participants and their caregivers. A second questionnaire, the "Secondary Interest-A-Lyzer" (H颥rt, Sorensen, & Renzulli, 1997), was administered to the participants to identify their patterns of interests. The results are presented, with implications, within the context of inclusive provision for young adults with disabilities.

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Reimaging practice: Researching change

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