Educational Supports

What you need to know

It is important to have HIGH LEARNING EXPECTATIONS for children who have Rubinstein Taybi. Encourage use of the core educational curriculum and modify it in order to meet the individual needs of the child.

Individuals with RTS are often described as happy, social, and loving attention.  Individuals with RTS have a wide degree of variability in cognitive and adaptive function with many having a significant intellectual disability.  Children often have difficulties with speech and articulation. Many will use sign language in combination with verbal language or other forms of communication (i.e. computer).

Young children with RTS often enjoy books, water play, music, and interactions with other people. They often do well in a small group and/or with a one-on-one aide. Many individuals with RTS will achieve some independence in self-care and communication.  They often participate in supported work situations as adults.

Many children with RTS have delays in development..  This may include delays in walking and talking. Physical and occupational therapy may help gross motor and fine motor skills.  Activities that require good hand eye control (i.e. writing, drawing, and painting) may be difficult.

Sensory systems may be affected, such as vision and hearing.

Due to short stature, some accommodations may need to be made.

What you can do

  • Allow choice-making to build decision making skills
  • Use routines to help learning
    • Give clear signals about the end of one activity and the beginning of a new activity.
    • Use picture symbols representing activities.
  • Keep directions specific and brief
  • Demonstrate skills to be learned
    • Use concrete objects/manipulatives along with verbal explanations
    • Use visual and auditory aids
    • Breakdown in small simple steps
  • Use peer partners
  • Use positive behavioral support strategies
    • Provide positive reinforcement immediately
  • Have high but realistic expectations
  • Small group instruction may be more beneficial to the student than whole classroom
  • Present only a few stimuli or objects at a time
  • Be flexible with educational goals.

  • Direct instruction in short periods of time
  • Teach smaller chunks of activities
  • Give new material slowly
  • Teach in a sequentially and step-by-step fashion
  • Minimize distractibility
  • Keep a structured environment
  • Keep noise level down
  • Have clear expectations, routines, and rules

  • Ensure the child has a reliable way to communicate
    • They will often understand but their expressive communication may be difficult.
    • This may lead the child to become frustrated.
    • They may need alternative forms or communication.
  • Speech and language therapy and supports that are individualized to the child are helpful.
    • Use total communication approach and start as early as possible.
    • Many use sign in combination with some speech

Physical Therapy can help to: 

  • Develop gross motor abilities
  • Improve strength
  • Assess modifications and adaptive equipment for school and home
    • For example, ensure desk and chair height are appropriate.

Occupational Therapy can help to develop:

  • Fine motor skills
  • Strength
  • Dexterity
  • Ensure desk and chair height are appropriate for vision and fine motor.

  • Consult a deaf-blind specialist if both hearing and vision systems are affected. Consult either a vision or hearing specialist if one system is affected.