Listening in to a Williams Syndrome Adult

Thoughtful Question MarkOne endearing feature of many Williams people is their fairly constant self-talk. Yes, they do have the gift to speak freely to friends and strangers in casual conversation and, when not socialising seem to continue a conversation with themselves.

Just how or why that Williams Syndrome genetic deletion determines that Linda talks to herself is beyond me but it does provide an interesting window into her thoughts – listening in to the private world of a Williams Syndrome adult. She will chat away to some phantom as if to a confidante, blissfully unaware that the whole world, or at least her big sister, is listening in, at least to one side of the conversation!

From my perspective Linda’s had a good week. We visited family at the weekend. She doted over the new niece, now 4 months old, with such pride as you’d be tempted to think the child was hers!

She’s been accompanied to various daytime activities as usual, numeracy, craft workshop, swimming… Someone else has got her ready, prepared her clothing, planned her meals, arranged transport, the usual stuff of a week living with a Williams Syndrome adult not ready for independent living.

And in the car on the way home she begins to chat… but obviously not to me. “Yeh, been busy this week… Yeh, really busy (pause) Not had a moment to think (pause) Got a lot on my mind right now, a hell-of-a-lot actually.” (Long pause) I can barely contain myself and eventually chip in with “What’s on your mind then?” to which the answer is, of course, a very chipper “Nothing!”.

Should I be concerned that she has “a hell-of-a-lot” on her mind? She seems happy enough.

Can you ever get inside their heads?