Has anyone ever heard of Rett Syndrome?  Thank you

Expert Answers
besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Rett Syndrome was discovered by Dr. Andreas Rett in 1954. It is a developmental disorder and is caused by a mutation. It is not inherited genetically by the child's parents. It is commonly confused with autism or cerebral palsy and occurs almost exclusively in girls, and very rarely in boys. Rett Syndrome is confirmed by performing blood tests and other diagnostic criteria must be met as well. According the International Rett Syndrome Foundation, here is a list of criteria that must be met in order to be diagnosed:

Necessary criteria (must be present for the diagnosis)
  1. apparently normal prenatal and perinatal history
  2. psychomotor development largely normal through the first six months or may be delayed from birth
  3. normal head circumference at birth
  4. postnatal deceleration of head growth in the majority of patients
  5. loss of achieved purposeful hand skill between ages six months and 2.5 years
  6. stereotypic hand movements such as hand wringing/squeezing, clapping/tapping, mouthing and washing/rubbing automatisms
  7. emerging social withdrawal, communication dysfunction, loss of learned words, and cognitive impairment
  8. impaired (dyspraxic) or failing locomotion

I previously worked with a girl who was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome. She could not speak, although she was able to feed herself with quite a bit of difficulty. She also had a lot of hand wringing. As time progressed, she started having frequent seizures which is very common for people with Rett Syndrome.

Please reference the link below. It contains a great deal of specific information regarding Rett Syndrome.


dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Rett's Disorder is a disintegrative disorder that affects toddlers. These children have normal developmental patterns up until about 5 months.They also had a normal perinatal period.These children have normal psychomotor development through the first 5 months of life. These children may or may not be mentally retarded. Between 5 and 48 months of age they start to exhibit the following:

1. deceleration of head growth

2. loss of hand skills, characteristic hand movements that resemble hand wringing or hand washing.

3.loss of social engagement

4.impaired language development

5. severe psychomotor development

Rett's disorder has only been diagnosed in female children.