What you need to know
It is important to have HIGH LEARNING EXPECTATIONS for children who have Russell-Silver syndrome. Encourage use of the core educational curriculum and modify it in order to meet the individual needs of the child.
There is a wide degree of variability in cognitive and adaptive function in individuals with RSS. Learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders (ADD) appear to be increased in individuals with RSS. Autism and pervasive developmental delays (PDD) may also be increased in these individuals. It is important to have high but realistic expectations for each child.
Consider therapists and specialists to consult and support classroom teacher.
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- It is important to find the balance between providing help and fostering autonomy. Individuals with RSS are able to live independent productive lives with adaptive assistance or adjustments. An IEP/504 plan may be in place for individuals’ safety and comfort in the class and school.
What can you do
- Due to short stature and motor issues, adaptive aids in school may be required for:
- Heavy doors
- High doorknobs
- Reaching the blackboard
- Desk size
- Use nurse’s office with a permanent step
- Carrying books may be a challenge
- Two sets of books; one for home one for school
- Friend helper
- Low locker
- Allow extra time to travel between classes/use elevators
- May need stool to rest legs on
- Occupational therapy and/or accommodations for writing
- Individuals may have small fingers
- May not be able to write at a quick enough speed
- Consider tape recorder for class
- Use computers
- Additional time for tests or provide oral exams
- Limb length discrepancy
- Shoe lifts may help
- It is important to treat an individual age appropriately
- Don’t baby them because they are small
- Don’t carry them
- Individuals may feel social stigma due to short stature
- Little People Association has many resources
- Counseling may be appropriate
- Support groups
If Autism is a secondary diagnosis, please refer to the GEMSS autism page for further ideas and information.