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Education Supports

What you need to know

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

The intelligence of girls with TS varies just like that of the general population. It may be slightly lower than normal overall. Cognitive issues with Turner’s syndrome include difficulties in visuospatial and executive skills, visual working memory, and have a higher incidence of ADHD. Girls with TS tend to excel at verbal skills and struggle with mathematics.

Girls may have difficulty in nonverbal areas or performance based tasks (i.e. visual-spatial, intuitive, organizational, evaluative, and processing functions.)  These are sometimes referred to as nonverbal learning disabilities or NLD.  Girls with TS tend to score lower on performance sections compared to verbal sections on intelligence tests.

Click here for information on NLD (link coming). 

Commonly observed challenges include:

Visual-spatial processing (difficulty imagining objects in relationship to each other)
  • Trouble appreciating subtle social cues such as facial expressions (social cognition)
  • Clumsiness (psychomotor problems and poor manual spatial awareness)
  • Understanding time
  • Math
    • Understanding:
      • Place value
      • Signs
      • Borrowing
      • Division
    • Sequencing needed to solve problems
    • Difficulty with abstract concepts
    • Hard time visualizing 3D object in a 2D format
  • Writing
    • Spelling
    • Punctuation
    • Capitalization
    • Drawing
    • Copying
    • Ordering
    • Handwriting
  • Reading comprehension requires spatial skill
    • Grammar
    • Writing and drawing
  • Difficulty driving and poor sense of direction

 

Executive function problems
  • Hard time planning and structuring tasks/work
  • Self organization may be a challenge
Motor problems
  • Clumsiness may be due to coordination and poor hand/finger skills 
  • OT/PT may provide help
  • May be improved by hormonal therapy at puberty 
  • Buttoning may be hard
  • Trouble with tasks requiring dexterity 
Memory
  • Short term memory problems
  • Long term memories usually good
Difficulty following instructions
  • Be clear
  • Simple language
  • Specific and exact directions
A rare cause of Turner syndrome may lead to increased risk of developmental delay
  • Small ring X chromosome

What you can do

Help with weekly clean-out
  • Organization of desk, locker, backpack, room
Teach to use a schedule book for recording assignments
  • Color-coded folders for keeping papers and homework organized
Give clear instructions for working on projects and homework
  • Set priorities
  • Break task into steps
  • Developing a schedule and plan 
  • Teach structures and templates for various tasks
    • Book reports
    • Spelling assignments, etc.
Help to notice similarities and differences among tasks
  • Find clues in a new task that relate to a previous task
  • Adapt strategies for dealing with variations in tasks (generalizing, then adapting)
Provide outline of day to allow to feel more confident
  • Use visual aids
  • Handouts
  • Realistic target settings
  • Use reward systems and praise
  • Routine is important
Hand-written note taking may be a problem
  • Use a tape recorder
  • Have teacher provide outline
  • Copy notes from classmates
  • Use a word processor in class
Difficulty concentrating / following instructions
  • Be clear
  • Simple language
  • Specific and exact directions
  • Short amount of information at a time
  • Quiet calm environment away from distractions
  • Seat child facing teacher
  • Untimed tests may be needed due to slower processing time
Homework strategies

Plan study time with a schedule
Prioritize with a to-do list that includes

Homework that needs to be done
Activities
Chores
Plans that have been made

Organize each day and

Make sure everything has been packed for school.
Binders could be used to organize work for each subject

Set up a workspace that has good lighting, plenty of space, no clutter, and little or no noise.

 Establishing “rules” such as avoidance of loud music, TV, and text messaging while doing homework.

Encourage the student to ask for help from the teacher
Consider the use of a study buddy or homework partner

Can be supportive of friend’s needs resulting from her challenges
Helpful in organizing assignments, task division, and time management

  • You may want additional information about your child’s disability, early intervention, school services, therapy, local policies, transportation, and much more. Every state in the USA has at least one Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) to offer families just this kind of information. To find your state’s center, go to the Center for Parent Information and Resources.