Rare Syndromes/Disorders

The Shape offers behavior analytic solutions to behavioral issues that stem from rare disorders such as Angelman syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Joubert syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, and Moebius. Our behavioral approach is effective to help those children affected with rare syndromes and disorders communicate with others.

Angelman Syndrome

A neuro-genetic disorder, Angelman syndrome (AS) significantly delays motor skill milestones and intellectual and physical development. It can also trigger facial tics and spasmodic movements, such as hand flapping. Although sleep disturbances and epilepsy are common, children with AS typically have a happy disposition.

Fragile X

The chromosomal fragile X syndrome, which also affects the mind and body, causes anxiety and severe mood swings. This creates barriers to learning, focusing and talking.

Joubert Syndrome

Joubert syndrome is a rare inherited genetic disorder that affects areas of the brain that controls balance and coordination. Joubert cannot be cured, but The Shape can help with treatments for both physical and language development.


The exceptionally rare congenital syndrome Moebius, which is caused by deformed or missing cranial nerves that control the mouth and eye muscles, is accompanied by facial nerve palsy. The Shape teaches children how tone of voice, body language and physical posture can compensate for difficulties in nonverbal communication.

Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS)

This rare genetic disorder, which affects the functioning of the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, impacts physical growth and hormone development. Most individuals or children with PWS have physical developmental and speech delays, poor muscle tone and physical coordination and struggle with compulsive overeating and obesity. Sleep disorders, scoliosis and delayed puberty are also common among children with Prader-Willi syndrome.

The Shape's Treatment of Rare Syndromes and Disorders

We offer counseling for children and families of those with rare syndromes and disorders because we feel support is crucial to build self-esteem. We also teach skills to cope with frustrations, anger and sadness and help them find constructive ways to communicate with their families, teachers and others.

Recent Articles

Using Behavior Analysis to Treat Sleep Problems in Individuals with Autism
Problems with sleep are commonly experienced by individuals who have autism and other developmental disabilities. The majority of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have at least one sleep problem (Park et al., 2012).
Continue Reading...
Fostering Independence and Improving Quality of Life for Adults with ASD

Autism awareness has dramatically increased over the past few decades. This rise in autism awareness and subsequently, research, has increased the availability of evidence-based treatment for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, treatment is limited for adults with ASD (Gerhardt & Lainer, 2011; Milley & Machalicek, 2012). The lack of services for adults contributes to some of the challenges they face such as unemployment, reliance on caregivers, and limited social relationships (Howlin, Goode, Hutton, & Rutter, 2004). These challenges can significantly reduce the quality of life adults with ASD experience.

Continue Reading...