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Williams Syndrome Association of SA
PO Box 19113
Tecoma, 5214
East London, South Africa


Tyrone Slade Schroeders' story

Hi all, My name is Tyrone Slade Schroeder. I am 18 years old; I am 1, 5 m Tall and weigh 56 kgs.
I am looking forward to my 19th birthday on the 14th of April 2009.
I live in Kloof in Kwazulu Natal with my Mom & Dad and our menagerie of animals!
I have a large extended family with loads of step brothers, half brothers ,uncles, aunties and grandparents all who love me very much so I am a very lucky lad indeed!
I can read and write and am especially good at Spelling and Mathematics. I was awarded a certificate last year for excellence in Mathematics from my school!
I don’t do competitive sport but I love a game of cricket with my mates at school.
I am in my final year at the Browns School in Pinetown, Kwazulu Natal. I am in the prevocational class.
Next year I will be working for my Mom and Dad in our family transport business and I hope to be accepted to attend Pevensey farm in Underberg in 2010. Pevensey is working farm (similar to a Kibbutz) where adults with disabilities are taught to manage and work in a typical farm environment.
My Dad is a top notch Handyman so I love helping him fix and build things around the house.
I can cook a basic meal and I’m a great gourmet sandwich and coffee maker! J I would like to learn to become a really good chef someday!
Let me tell you about my life so far….
I was born in Randfontein in 1990, I was 49cm and weighed 2,5kgs.
 I was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome at 2 years and 5 months after I became very ill with Gastro Enteritis. It was then that the Pediatrician noticed I had poor circulation and then referred me to a cardiologist for examination and diagnosis.
As a toddler I used to battle to eat regular food unless it was finely cut up or mashed for me.
My milestones came later than any “normal kid” due to my affliction with Williams Syndrome, however with the perseverance and dedication of my Mom & Dad; I am able now to do most things that other regular kids can do. For instance I only started walking at 20 months; I wasn’t potty trained until 4 years old and only learned to tie my own shoelaces at the age of seven.
I used to wear specially designed boots to keep my heels flat on the ground when I walked as I used to suffer from shortening of the Achilles tendons which forced me to walk on my toes (this was caused by the lack of Chromosome 7 – Elastin in my body) I don’t wear them anymore as they used to hurt my feet and so my Mom & Dad rather used physiotherapy to exercise my feet and legs and encouraged me to walk flat feet at every opportunity. I’m getting much better at it as I get older. I don’t aspire to become a ballet dancer J
When I was a toddler I used to wear an eye-patch over my “Good” Eye so that my squint eye could get the “exercise” that it needed to straighten itself. I must say that this didn’t really work so well as I used to get very tired and needed to take regular afternoon naps. So, when I was 12 years old my parents took me to an eye specialist to have my squint corrected so now I don’t look like a chameleon anymore! J I am lucky to have 20/20 vision and so I don’t need glasses.
Typical to most people with Williams syndrome I also have a problem with my teeth in that when some of the “baby” teeth fall out I don’t have an adult tooth waiting to emerge, so when I’m about 20 or so I will have my teeth sorted out with implants or crowns when my jaw is fully developed. I brush my teeth at least twice a day though to keep them as strong as possible!
I also had very bad hand -eye co-ordination when I was younger and couldn’t catch a ball until I was about 13 or 14 years old. Now my co-ordination is much better after a lot of practice so I have no trouble catching a ball anymore.
I still suffer from bad circulation and sometimes my skin especially around my neck and upper body get very blotchy, but it goes away and doesn’t bother me too much.
My parents take me to see the doctor every year to monitor my heart and the Aortic Stenosis (The narrowing of the Aortic valve into the heart which can impede blood flow, commonly found in Williams Syndrome sufferers)
I moved to Kwazulu Natal with my Mom and Dad in 1996 and attended Honeybee Pre-primary School.
I then also attended Durban Open Air School and Kip McGrath in Pinetown until I joined the Browns School in 2003.
Things I like…. Riding my bicycle except I’m not very street wise and drivers aren’t very tolerant of cyclists so I have to be very careful on the roads.
I love watching Television and my favorite programs are the cooking Channel, Crime & Investigation and the sports channels especially if there is WWE wrestling on as I love my wrestling and follow it very closely. I also love watching Rugby with my Dad and I am a big Sharks Rugby Fan! J
I also love playing Play- station and have a lot of PS games. My Mom & Dad limit my TV & Play-station time so that I don’t become too engrossed!
I love swimming and when it’s nice and hot I also love to tan! I have an olive skin and tan very easily!
I am mad about pets and have 3 dogs, a cat, koi fish and birds. I am especially fond of dogs & cats.
Oh … I also love sweets and chocolates, any kind of sweets just gimme sweets!! J
Things I don’t like….Tomatoes and Olives, although my Dad says I’m acquiring the taste as most kids don’t like them either. I also don’t like any kind of puddings, especially Jelly and custard … yuck! L
I like all fruit except for bananas… dunno why, just don’t like them! Naartjies are my favorites!
I have always preferred the company of adults although my Parents encourage me to spend time with kids my own age and not to “count teeth” with the adults too much! J
When I’m older and a bit wiser I plan to have my own flat and my own car or motorbike and hopefully be independent enough to be able to do everything for myself.
I hope that the South African Williams Syndrome website reaches and teaches many people about the condition as the years pass and would like to congratulate and encourage those dedicated people who have made it all possible! J
Peace, Love and Happiness
Anything is possible; you just have to try harder!
Ps: If anyone wishes to write to me please do so, I promise ALL emails will be answered.
My e mail address ptm.natal@telkomsa.net
My Mom is Lesley Schroeder and can be contacted on 083-226 3164 and on the same e mail address as above.
My Dad is Kevin Schroeder and can be contacted on 083-225 3793 or on e mail address kevinptm@telkomsa.net



Tyrone Slade Schroeder