Information for Police Officers

This page is for law enforcement officers interacting with adults who have 22q (22q11.2 deletion syndrome).

What is 22q?

22q is a genetic condition that predisposes people to multiple medical and psychiatric conditions.

Some common problems:

  • Learning difficulties (e.g. reading comprehension, telling time, math skills), mild intellectual disabilities
  • Forgetfulness (which may be misinterpreted as non-compliance)
  • Mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia
  • Distress in unfamiliar situations; tend to misinterpret social communication
  • Neurological conditions such as seizures, tremors
  • Heart defects (e.g. reduced physical endurance) and other medical conditions (e.g. impaired hearing, speech difficulties)

There are dozens of possible features, and each patient is different.

Most people with 22q require essential daily medications.

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Tips for interacting with adults with 22q

  • Give one simple instruction at a time
  • Repeat your instructions
  • Avoid abstract concepts, analogies or probabilities
  • Use simple diagrams/visuals
  • Involve caregivers as soon as possible
  • Provide paper summaries to the individual and the caregiver

    Need help? Please call our clinic at (416) 340-5145 during business hours (Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm). Our doctors and social workers will be glad to assist.

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The full name of 22q or 22q11.2DS is 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, formerly known as velocardiofacial syndrome or DiGeorge syndrome.

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