Tay-Sachs Disease

Kara Schmucker



● Muscle weakness

● Loss of muscle coordination

● Loss of motor skills such as turning over, sitting, and crawling.

● Startled reflex to loud noises

● Seizures, vision and hearing loss, intellectual disability, paralysis

● Speech problems

● Progressively loses the ability to move


● Mental illnesses


· Loses ability to communicate effectively with others, can’t smile


· Adults with late Onset Tay-Sachs may experience bi-polar or psychotic problems such as hallucinations


· Muscle spasms



  • Child may have a feeding tube
  • Have someone around who knows how to deal with seizures
  • Child might have a personal care provider or therapist


  • Can be taught as normal, but be sure to make them feel as normal as possible


  • Same schedules/routines, be aware of the feeding tube if child has one. Also be aware of any medications child is on to control muscle spasms, pain relievers, or seizure medications
  • Make sure students know what to do if child has seizure, have a planned procedure for students if child has seizure so they aren't in the way

Other Information...

Not very many children live past the age of 4 with Infantile Tay- Sachs disease and therefore do not go to school. Children with Juvenile Tay- Sachs live to the age of 15 but symptoms are not quite as intense until later on. People with Late-onset Tay- Sachs disease generally live and have a normal life except for slurred speech and weakness in muscles.