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Kindergarten Classroom

Information is not intended to replace professional medical advice.

Social Concerns

Some students with KBG Syndrome look different from their peers. They may have glasses, hearing aids, feeding tubes or other use of medical devices. They may be quite thin and have difficulty putting on weight or be heavier due to special medications they need for medical conditions. 

As a result of these situations a person with KBG Syndrome may be self conscious of how they look or become the target of bullies. Special accommodations for them can sometimes make things more difficult as well. 

One of the easiest things you can do is to educate classmates about KBG Syndrome. A presentation in class or school wide may be helpful. There are several opportunities throughout the year that are great for this (KBG Days, Rare Disease Day etc) Teachers can try to include the student or family if they wish to. 

Psychological Concerns

Students with KBG Syndrome have a higher rate of neuropsychiatric disorders. It is important to remember that not all students will be diagnosed with one of these disorders and some are more mildly affected. 

These may include: obsessive-compulsive, tic, depressive and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders, autistic-like features in both children and adults.

Some individuals struggle with anxiety and shyness that may be related to difficulties in understanding social situations. While others are reported to be very outgoing and social with an enhanced ability to make friends. Some may experience mild/moderate difficulties in regulating emotions with outbursts of anger, inconsolable disturbance and occasional aggressive explosions have also been described

Managing in the classroom

Below are a few of the more common neuropsychiatric disorders that students with KBG Syndrome may be diagnosed with, the signs/symptoms you may see, impact on the student in the classroom and recommended accommodations. These disorders are all documented in KBG Syndrome and should be given appropriate consideration and management. 

Educational Toys
Classroom

Anxiety

One of the more common struggles for KBG Syndrome students. May present differently from student to student, typically is "silent." Many children struggle internally and do not seek out help. May appear quiet or disengaged while some may "act out" or be considered a "difficult child." With appropriate accommodations and patience children can reduce anxiety and be successful students in the classroom. There is no "one size fixes all"
 

Signs:

  • Difficulty focusing or mind going blank

  • Tantrums or meltdowns

  • Excessive worry.

  • Fatigue from sleep disturbance

  • Irritability (sometimes referred to as “acting out”)

  • Difficulty separating from care givers

  • Avoidance behaviors

  • Psychosomatic complaints (headaches, stomachaches, muscle pains, etc.)

 

Impact on student

  • ​Interfere with social interactions at school

  • Negatively affects functioning 

  • Creates health concerns "worry themselves sick"

Accommodations

  • Extra time and warnings before transitions

  • Not requiring to read aloud or work at the board in front of the class

  • Extended time for tests

  • Breaking down assignments into smaller pieces

  • Identify one adult at school to seek help from when feeling anxious (school counselor, if available)

  • Buddy system: Pair student with a peer to assist with transitions to lunch and recess (these less structured situations can trigger anxious feelings)

  • Help after illness: Missed work can spike anxious feelings. Providing class notes and exempting students from missed homework can help.

  • “Cool down passes” to take a break from the classroom. This should be clearly explained to the student. Examples might include a walk down the hallway, getting water, standing outside the classroom door for a few minutes, completing coloring pages in the back of the room, or using a mindfulness app with headphones.

  • Preferential group (teacher or adult child knows well) for field trips

Other Resources: 

 

 

ADD/ADHD

ADD/ADHD develops when there is central nervous system impairment during development. A child may struggle to maintain attention throughout the day or appear excitable or hyperactive. They may also display impulsive behaviors. It is important to manage ADD/ADHD proactively as it can significantly impact learning and socialization as well as lead to other disorders like anxiety. 

Signs:

  • Being easily distracted

  • Impulsive Behaviors

  • Trouble paying attention to details or maintaining focus

  • Trouble following directions

  • Parents and teachers might feel like a child isn’t listening to them even when they are speaking to them.

  • Talking out of turn

  • Poor fine motor skills

Impact on the Student

  • Negatively affect educational progress

  • Lead to anxiety disorders

  • Impact executive functioning

  • Difficulties interacting with peers

Accommodations

  • Preferential seating. ADHD students should sit in the front row (or close to the teacher), away from windows and other distractions.

  • Oral and written instructions. Oral instructions should be reiterated and written down for the student.

  • Extended time on tests. Eliminate timed tests and/or provide extended time on tests.

  • Supervised organization. Many students with ADHD benefit from a supervised daily cleanout of the backpack and desk to learn organizational strategies. Use of a homework planner checked by the teacher each day and color-coded folders can also be beneficial.

  • Manipulatives for understanding. Number lines, math manipulatives, word banks and color-coded spelling words (to help focus on difficult words) are useful for both classwork and tests.

  • Provide checklists. Detailed lists for homework assignments, organization, study skills, and checklists of frequently made mistakes help ADHD students stay on task and avoid repetitive mistakes.

  • Whiteboard calendar for homework. Using a large, visible calendar to transfer long-term assignments and projects to can enable the student to better track tasks.

  • Parent-teacher communication log. A daily communication log helps parents and teachers communicate and work together for the benefit of the student.

  • Clutter free workspace. ADHD students need a clutter-free and distraction-free workspace near an adult who can help him/her remained focused and also eliminate screens and other distractions.

Other Resources:

Autism

A complex disorder that can be challenging to diagnose. Despite the recommendations and guidelines it can be a complicated process. It is known that Autism tends to affect more boys than girls and can be found in all races and nationalities. It is known that individuals with KBG Syndrome have an increased rate of diagnosis and is being looked at more closely by researchers. There is a spectrum within Autism Disorders and not all students may present in a similar way, the list of signs is not a complete list and any concerns over a possible diagnosis should be discussed with a doctor. Mild cases may be even more difficult to diagnose. Early Diagnosis and Treatment or Management is KEY.

Signs:

  •  May express repetitive and irrelevant phrases

  • Their movement may lack fluidity

  • May have fixations

  • May seem socially disinterested or lack social perceptions

  • Toe Walking

  • May have a tendency to be overly emotional and dramatic

  • May have a fascination with lights, spinning in circles, and experiencing any number of sensory issues.

  • Difficulty recognizing nonverbal cues

  • Appears aggressive, passive, or disruptive in a group context

  • Failure to initiate or respond to social interactions

  • Resists cuddling or other affection

  • Specific food preferences

  • Behaviors that can potentially result in self harm such as head banging, or biting

  • Lack of flexibility: prefers specific routines and exhibits distress at small change

 

Impact on the Student

​Despite increasing awareness most of the public is still unaware of how autism impacts students. Contrary to belief not all students will avoid eye contact. They can smile, laugh and enjoy interacting with people. 

  • Impact executive functioning

  • Difficulties interacting with peers

  • Feeding Difficulties

  • Risk taking behavior

Accommodations

  • Low-Distraction Work Areas

  • Printed Schedules of Activities & Events

  • Visual Cues for Common Requests

  •  Earplugs, especially in hallways, lunch rooms or other noisy environments

  • Sensory Retreat Spaces

  • Exercise Breaks

  • Classroom Aides

  • Planning and practicing of communication strategies and social routines

  • Using visual markers, tape, etc. to designate boundaries

  • Designating a "safe" or "quiet" place in classroom

  • Providing task analysis; breaking down goals into small steps

  • Using manipulative materials to increase participation in learning experience

  • Modifying lessons to emphasize essential concepts for master

  • Providing task analysis; breaking down goals into small steps

  • Providing peer modeling from socially competent peers

Other Resources:

Sources:

https://www.psycom.net/

KBG Syndrome Publications:

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