Saturday, May 14, 2011

Williams Syndrome Awareness Day 6: Beautiful

Within about 15 minutes of meeting Bean, his geneticist told us that she was fairly certain that he had Williams syndrome (WS). He fit many of the characteristics that I wrote about earlier this week here, here, here, and here. But that wasn't all. He possessed certain physical features that are common among people with WS.

You see, there's "a look" that is associated with WS. According to the Williams Syndrome Association:
Most young children with Williams syndrome are described as having similar facial features. These features include a small upturned nose, long philtrum (upper lip length), wide mouth, full lips, small chin, and puffiness around the eyes. Blue and green-eyed children with Williams syndrome can have a prominent "starburst" or white lacy pattern on their iris. Facial features become more apparent with age.
In other words, people with WS are adorable. Some have said that their appearance, combined with their incredibly social and endearing personalities and small stature are the inspiration for elves in folklore.

Bean has "the look" - especially the beautiful, blue, starburst eyes - of a WS kid and that definitely played a role in helping his geneticist narrow down the list of possibilities. I remember looking at a few pictures of children with WS in the four weeks of waiting for his test results and waffling back and forth. Then, the night before I got the call - somehow, I just knew that call was coming - I looked at hundreds of pictures and I saw my son looking back at me in every. single. one. These faces were sweet, genuine, smiling, sincere. I knew my beautiful, precious boy had Williams syndrome. 

While he has "the look," he also fas familial traits - most notably from Husband's side of the family. Both of my sons look like Husband's side. Both are adorable. Coincidence? Husband and I make beautiful babies - WS and "typical." And I'm not biased! ;) Have I mentioned that Bean (and Baby J) is beautiful?


  1. I see you like to state the obvious (as do I, hehe).

  2. Bean is a very beautiful child. :-) And wow, I really see that starburst in those pics! Children with Down syndrome have what's called "Bruschfield Spots" which also give them starry irises. Love that!

  3. Thank you, Rachel!

    Shan- yes, yes I do!

    Becca - Thank you. Sammi is pretty stunning, too! It's amazing to me how these so-called imperfections make our kids perfect specimens of beauty and goodness!

  4. And Becca - Thank you for the information about Bruschfield Spots. I had never heard of them. I just looked at your birthday post and Sammi's eyes are absolutely stunning!

  5. I wonder if the Bruschfield spots are the same thing for Bean, or if kids with Ws have something different. Let me know if you find that out! :-) And thanks!! Yes, there is SO much beauty, inside and out, with our special kids.

  6. Hmm. That's a good question! I've never heard or seen their star-pattern referred to as Bruschfield spots. I'll ask our geneticist next time we talk to her and let you know!