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Key Fact

Research has suggested that most individuals with Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome have a moderate intellectual disability. Some individuals may have a greater degree of disability and some may be mildly affected.

Intellectual Characteristics in Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome 

It is important to remember that while individuals with Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome may have particular difficulties each individual will be unique and will have things that they find easier and things they find more difficult. Sometimes an individual will have difficulties with things you expect them to be able to do, and sometimes they will surprise you with things they do that you were not expecting. How a child develops is difficult to predict.

Research studies have looked at intellectual disability in Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome; however, these studies are only a snapshot of a certain group of individuals at a particular time. The results of these studies can guide our understanding of Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome but it is important to remember that they may not represent what a single individual can do.


What is intellectual disability?

The majority of children and adults with Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome have an intellectual disability. This is also referred to as: developmental disability or learning disability, and in some cultures, mental retardation.

The term ‘intellectual disability’ means that a person has global developmental delay in both intellectual functioning and adaptive behaviour (everyday practical skills) in comparison to other individuals of the same age.

For difficulties to be understood as an intellectual disability they have to have been present before adulthood.

Intellectual disability is sometimes described as mild, moderate, severe or profound. This indicates degree of disability and is based on someone’s adaptive (everyday living) skills.


Intellectual disability in people with Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome

Individuals with Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome tend to have a moderate intellectual disability which typically represents an IQ score range of 30 to 55. However, this is not the case for every individual with some having a greater degree of disability and others being mildly affected.

Particular difficulties for individuals with Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome may include attentional difficulties such as difficulty with concentrating that has been reported in 70-80% of individuals. The difficulties are beyond what would be expected for the degree of disability.  

Short-term memory tasks are also a particular difficulty for individuals with Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, specifically tasks that include visuo-spatial sequences such as replicating a sequence of taps on some blocks.


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