A young girl in Singapore suffers from a rare disorder that makes her excessively friendly to everyone -- including strangers.
Ella Yeo, 9, has a congenital development disorder called Williams Syndrome, which is characterized by -- among other things -- an excessively social personality, The Straits Times and The New Paper reports.
Most who suffer from WS don’t know they are affected because it is so rare that not many people know about it.
Ella’s condition went undetected until two years ago, when a doctor treating her for a heart condition raised doubts. A blood test confirmed the genetic disorder.
"When we heard about it, we were lost. We had not heard of this genetic disease before,” Ella’s mother, Janet Yeo, 38, a civil servant, said.
Yeo, who has two other children, said that Ella was a very small baby when she was born. Ella weighed 1.88 kilograms at 37.5 weeks, which is equal to about 4 pounds.
Some other symptoms of WS include cardiovascular disease, developmental delays and learning disabilities.
WS occurs in about 1 in 10,000 people around the world and there are at least 20 to 30 patients in Singapore, according to AsiaOne.
Parents like Yeo are not alone.
Opposing Views reported in April 2013 that Mark Fountain’s son, Lane, suffered from the same disorder, which gives him advanced social skills. The 9-year-old boy has been interested in vacuum cleaners since he saw his mother cleaning one day.
The downside to Lane’s condition is that he can’t tell the difference between who his friend is and who might be a dangerous person.
“There is no awareness of strangers or danger,” said his father. “Everybody is their friend, and they cannot see the bad in people.”
“But we wouldn’t have Lane any other way. He loves everyone and he’s unique.”