Angelman syndrome is a rare neurogenetic disorder that occurs in about 1 out of every 15,000 people. Most people with Angelman have very limited speech, or no speech at all. If you’re the parent of a young child with Angelman, you may be wondering how you can help your child learn to communicate, since speech is not going to be their main way of communicating. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Joint attention is the ability to shift your attention between an object or event and your communication partner. For example, if a little girl notices an ice cream truck coming down the street, she may look at it, then turn to her father with a hopeful smile before turning back to stare at the ice cream truck. Or, a little boy may be spinning an empty water bottle on the floor, enjoying the movement and shifting colors as the bottle spins. He may look up at his mother and point to the bottle, sharing his enjoyment with her.