(PRWEB) May 23, 2014
Although treatment is sometimes costly, with an increase in knowledge and support in recent years, more and more opportunities for success are beginning to arise for those with learning disabilities. "I am truly excited for kids today. Assistive Technology and new curriculums are opening doors to learn in a way that wasn't possible when my son, now 28, was in school," explains Terry Monkaba, Executive Director of the Williams Syndrome Association.
Thousands of children and adults are expected to join the Williams Syndrome Association (WSA) during the month of May to raise awareness for Williams syndrome (WS), a genetic disorder that remains virtually unknown to the general public, educators and many doctors. Included in the awareness events are more than 50 walks in cities across the U.S. like New York, St. Louis, Detroit, San Diego and Houston.
The activities are held to increase community awareness and provide financial support for the Williams Syndrome Association, the nation's largest support organization for those with WS. Funds are used to help finance critical research and programs for individuals with Williams syndrome. New research can lead to further insights about the disorder and new treatments for the future. Scientists are particularly interested in cardiovascular disorders and neurodevelopmental issues in Williams syndrome, which may contribute to greater understanding of common problems such as hypertension and anxiety which affect millions of Americans.
Featured on 20/20 and MSNBC, Williams syndrome is characterized by medical and developmental delays, cardiovascular disease and learning disabilities. At the same time, people with Williams syndrome often have unique abilities, including advanced verbal skills, highly sociable personalities and an affinity for music. Children with Williams syndrome need costly, ongoing medical care and early interventions that may not be covered by insurance or state funding. Awareness activities during the month of May will also provide funding for the Williams Syndrome Association's medical emergency fund, which provides financial support directly to families for expenses associated with costly medical treatments for their children.
"There is nothing more important than the choices we make about how to raise and support our children," explains Ann Kornblet, Chair of the Learning Disabilities Association of America's Early Childhood Committee. "We must get to the point where every family has choices and the support they need."
The 8-page print component of "Disability Empowerment" featuring the Williams Syndrome Association will be distributed within the June 20th edition of The Washington Post in the D.C. Metro area, with a circulation of approximately 450,000 copies and an estimated readership of 1.3 million. The digital component is distributed nationally through a vast social media strategy and across a network of top news sites and partner outlets.
About the Williams Syndrome Association
The Williams Syndrome Association (WSA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization formed in 1982 by family members of people living with the disorder. Today, the WSA is the most comprehensive resource for people and families living with Williams syndrome as well as doctors, researchers and educators. The association provides programs and support in the areas of education, enrichment and research. For more information on the Williams Syndrome Association, please visit http://www.williams-syndrome.org.
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Jeremy (dot) amigo (at) mediaplanet (dot) com
tmonkaba (at) williams-syndrome (dot) org
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