Smith-Magenis syndrome

Smith-Magenis syndrome is a rare condition that is associated with developmental delay, learning difficulties, behavioural difficulties and a disturbed sleep pattern. The most distinctive feature of Smith-Magenis syndrome is behavioural problems. These can include: sleep disturbance – including falling asleep, shortened sleep cycle, frequent night waking and early morning waking; inattention, restlessness, distractibility and hyperactivity; attention-seeking; aggression and frequent outburts / temper tantrums; self-injurious behaviours – self-hitting, self-biting, self-pinching / scratching and inserting foreign objects into body orifices. Other behaviours include stereotypic behaviours: body-rocking, hand-rubbing, “self-hugging” and hand-licking and page-flipping (“lick and flip”). At the same time, people with Smith-Magenis syndrome are often described as loving and caring, eager to please and with a good sense of humour. Individuals with Smith-Magenis syndrome generally love attention and enjoy interacting with adults.