Turner Syndrome

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Introduction

  • Females with Turner syndrome often have a wide range of symptoms and some distinctive characteristics. Almost all girls with Turner syndrome are shorter than average.
  • At puberty, usually between 8 and 14 years, a girl with Turner syndrome will not have the normal growth spurt, even with female oestrogen hormone replacement (HRT).
  • However, some have behavioural, social and specific learning difficulties.

Traits

  • (Source: NHS Turner Syndrome page)

Social intelligence

  • About a third of girls with Turner syndrome have problems understanding social relationships because of the way their brain develops.
  • This can make it difficult to sustain friendships and leads to relationship problems in later life, both at home and at work

Spatial awareness and numeracy

  • Spatial awareness is the ability to understand where you are in relation to objects or other people.
  • More than 8 out of 10 females with Turner syndrome have difficulty understanding spatial relationships. This may cause problems when learning to drive or following directions on a map.
  • A similar number have some degree of difficulty learning or understanding maths. This is known as dyscalculia.

Attention and hyperactivity problems

  • Typically, girls with Turner syndrome will go through a phase in childhood that involves:
    • physical overactivity, such as constant fidgeting and restlessness
    • acting impulsively, such as breaking rules or having no sense of danger
    • having a short attention span and being easily distracted
  • Attention and hyperactivity problems usually begin when the girl is a toddler but may not be a serious problem until the girl starts school at 4 or 5. Girls with Turner syndrome may have difficulty settling in class.
  • Medicines used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may not be as effective in cases of Turner syndrome.
  • The physical hyperactivity usually reduces around the time the girl starts secondary school at 11 years of age, although problems with inattention can last longer, into the teens.

Further Reading

NHS - Symptoms list