How might a student with 22q11.2DS present in the classroom?

Behavioural characteristics

Although there are many common features associated with 22q11.2DS, there are also many differences between individuals with 22q11.2DS. Behavioural characteristics that may be seen in students with 22q11.2DS include:

  • Quiet, shy, socially isolated

  • Socially awkward

  • Dependent, eager to please

  • Anxious

  • Obsessive compulsive

  • Impulsive

  • Unable to judge and develop insight

  • Autistic-like

    • Display many of the communication and socialization difficulties that are hallmark features of autism (e.g. reduced use of gestures, narrower use of facial expressions, etc.)

    • Difficulties interpreting appropriate meaning from others’ facial expressions and producing appropriate facial expressions to convey feelings (may appear somewhat “flat”)

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Clinical features

Over 180 clinical features have been reported in people with 22q11.2DS, but symptom presentation and severity is highly variable.

Some clinical features include:

  • Congenital heart defect

  • A nasal voice

  • Low calcium levels

  • Thyroid problems

  • Seizure or epilepsy

  • Cleft palate

  • Anxiety of schizophrenia

It is common for individuals with 22q11.2DS to have multiple medical conditions.

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