A study meeting for Kabuki Syndrome (KS) families was held on November 20th by two doctors from Aichi Prefecture Colony Central Hospital. (Aichi Prefecture includes Toyota, Nagoya and Inuyama cities.) Eight families, including five children with KS, participated in this meeting. One doctor presented an article “Kabuki Syndrome” and elaborated on KS. (The article: “Kabuki syndrome: a review”, 2005, Mar. 67(3), 209-19.) The other doctor announced her hypothesis. She is an expert studying Williams Syndrome (WS) a similar neurodevelopmental disorder. She was particularly interested in page 8 of the “Kabuki Syndrome: a review” article. Noteworthy were parents of these patients who reported that the KS subjects had excellent long-term memory for faces, music lyrics, events and dates. Many appeared to have a particular love of music with a musical aptitude above that found in their families. In several families, music proved to be an excellent tool to teach new concepts and skills. Knowledge of this may help parents and teachers devise more effective educational plans for KS patients. She pointed out that this characteristic was the same as for WS children. Also on this point she stated, “It is a deficiency in visuospatial recognition.” It seems hard for children with WS to copy a figure. Please check fig. 4 of next URL http://www003.upp.so-net.ne.jp/kabuki_j/ksn/no88.htm
She hypothesized that a KS child has a “deficiency in visuospatial recognition” like children with WS. She tested this with some KS children and reproted it when the result was similar to WS children. The cause of this is pointed out with the disability of the “Dorsal pathway.”
I think it’s wonderful that a study is being done! I’m not so clear on what the study is about? Is it trying to answer the question of whether individuals with Kabuki have a ‘deficiency in visuospatial recognition’? I think these studies are so important. Hopefully they will eventually help us find the most effective ways of teaching our children!
You also mentioned that it has been reported in a few studies that ‘individuals with Kabuki appeared to have a particular love of music with musical aptitude outside that found in their families’. That they have a special aptitude for music….I don’t know. I think it’s important to remind ourselves that this is what parents are reporting to the doctors – it’s very subjective. What is meant by aptitude? I have not heard any evidence of children with Kabuki being able to play instruments with extraordinary success….or being able to keep tune, etc. It’s true that many, if not all, love music – but then so does virtually every other child and teenager. So what do parents mean when they say their child seems to have exceptional aptitude for it? Could it mean that compared to other basic skills, learning the lyrics of songs seems to come relatively easy? (Keeping in mind that their obsessiveness has compelled them to listen to the same music over and over.) But is this unique to Kabuki (or Williams syndrome)? Do we not see this in many many syndromes?
Music provides the brain with pleasure…a sense of well-being. For individuals with multiple sensory integration disabilities, I can certainly understand the brain’s love of this calming effect….even need for it. I guess what I’m questioning is – what is mean by a ‘musical aptitude’?
It would certainly be interesting to read up on studies done on the effects of music on the human brain. There are probably many such studies done in the past. Just look at the success of the Dr. Tomatis ‘ear’.
The fact that we should be using this love of music to facilitate learning – YES! Now THAT would be an interesting study!!
Sensory integration dysfunctions likely play a large role in the difficulty our children have in learning many of the basic skills we take so for granted. Memory of facts (grocery lists, events, dates, etc, etc) maybe uses a more cerebral part of the brain that requires less sensory input. Many individuals with autism (basically another description for sensory integration dysfunction) also have this ability to remember all sorts of facts. But is this really so extraordinary? A ‘typical’ individual uses much of their brain for physical skills, emotional skills, social skills, and thought processes that individuals with sensory integration dysfunctions simply cannot attain. So maybe more attention can be devoted to areas that we simply file away as ‘not so important to remember’.
All so interesting, isn’t it Toshinobu?!! I have always loved this topic – the whole aspect of how we learn – how so much is tied into sensory balance – how parts of our brain can take over tasks of injured parts – how such simple tasks like recognizing a face requires such incredible complex processes…..oh….I could go on and on!