2-Year-Old Can't Stop Laughing & Smiling -- Literally

Heartbreaking 7

toddler toyIt almost sounds like a cruel joke: The toddler who won't stop laughing and smiling. Except that 2-year-old Elliot Eland can't stop laughing and smiling. And he will never learn to speak. Elliot has a rare condition called Angelman syndrome. He not only cannot learn to speak, he has numerous other severe learning difficulties and he only sleeps four hours a night. 

And there are other ways this condition affects the whole family. On one hand, Elliot's mother, Gale, says his happiness is contagious and brightens everyone's moods. “But it can be upsetting if his brother Alex cries after he’s hurt while playing. Elliot just laughs and Alex, who is three years older, doesn't understand why.” For Gale, her son's condition has made her think about what's most important for her child.

“At the end of the day, when you have children you just want them to be happy -- and Elliot always is," Gale says. So he may not learn everything his brother learns, and it certainly sounds like the Elands aren't getting as much sleep as they'd like to. They have many years of therapy and special education ahead of them. But wow, that's offset by a child who is always ... happy!

It seems strange to imagine since the rest of us know the full range of emotions. I wish we knew more about this story -- what does Elliot do when he's frustrated or hurt? Sometimes crying is an important message parents need to know when something is wrong. Fortunately the Elands are teaching Elliot sign language, so as he gets older, he'll be able to communicate with them -- what ever he's feeling.

What's the most important, basic thing you feel like your kids need?

 

Image via qwrrty/Flickr

in the news, learning, toddler development

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cmjaz cmjaz

Poor baby. I would think that laughing and smiling doesn't mean he's truly happy inside, but God I hope he is.

power... powertothekids

hmm get a blood sample [small] and send it for testing. it can help the world understand the disease better

kelti... kelticmom

Colin Farrell's oldest son also has this condition. Bless their hearts. Such sweet babies.

CPN322 CPN322

Poor kid :( sometimes when you laugh too hard or for too long, it can actually hurt your stomach. Same thing wish smiling too much. I hope he isn't in pain :(

CPN322 CPN322

*with

Donna Williams

i worked with a young man with angelmans sydrome. he would always laugh at everything. it was sad because he had seizures a lot. he was my favorite one in the class (i worked at ARC) they don't laugh every minute of the day and to my knowledge he was not in any pain. he was very attached to me and sometimes he wouldn't listen to anyone but me. i believe he was happy and had other emotions because when i was on medical leave staff told me he was quiet and refuse to walk for them, and when i'd come to visit his face would light up and he would even reach out for me. due to a back injury and moving i no longer work there but i really miss them all ecspecially him.

MomLi... MomLily67

It's heartbreaking  in a way. Can the mother tell when he is distressed? He may laugh all the time,but there will truly be times when he is upset. For his sake, I hope he is really as happy in the inside as on the outside. Who know, it  may be God's way of letting us know that there is always to smile about.

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