Mr. Bill Siksay (BurnabyóDouglas, NDP)
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-453, An Act respecting Williams Syndrome Awareness Week.
He said: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table a private member's bill to establish Williams Syndrome awareness week in Canada. I thank to the member for Winnipeg North for seconding the bill.
I am pleased to support the work of the Canadian Association for Williams Syndrome, which supports people with the syndrome and their families, friends and neighbours. Williams Syndrome is a rare, incurable, non-hereditary genetic disorder. Like Down Syndrome, it is caused by a chromosomal abnormality and there is a wide variation in ability from person to person.
Individuals with Williams Syndrome have a unique pattern of emotional, physical and mental strengths and weaknesses. Various forms of hyperactivity and a hypersensitivity to noise are two of the key psychological factors related to Williams Syndrome, and children with the syndrome all have distinctive facial characteristics.
For parents, teachers and support people, increasing awareness of the syndrome can be key to understanding an individual with Williams and helping them achieve their full potential. The incidence is approximately 1 in 20,000, but as the medical profession and public become more aware, more cases are being diagnosed.
Marking Williams Syndrome awareness week in August each year will lead to a better understanding of the needs of those who live with it, ensuring happier lives and relief and support for parents and caregivers