Rett Syndrome is a severe disorder that generally strikes children about three or four years of age. Although the disease is present at birth, symptoms are not noticed right away. Rett Syndrome is caused by a chromosome mutation. It nearly always affects girls. Although scientists have discovered the genetic cause of this disease, there is no cure for Rett Syndrome at the present time.,
Physiotherapy to treat Rett Syndrome takes many different phases. It involves both physical and mental stimulation. Some of the therapies used to treat patients with Rett Syndrome include physical therapy, horseback riding, music therapy, water therapy and communication therapy.
A child who is born with Rett Syndrome will often appear normal at birth. They will develop normally throughout the first three or four years of their life when things suddenly begin to change, signaling to the parent that something is wrong.
One of the physical aspects with Rett Syndrome is slow head growth. During baby visits, doctors often measure an infant's head during the course of a physical exam. Children with Rett Syndrome tend to have smaller heads that do not grow normally. This is one of the first indications that there is something wrong.
Other symptoms include impaired language. Where the child may have been developing normal speech patterns, suddenly they seem to be unable to express themselves. They may begin wringing their hands, tapping and clapping as they gradually begin to lose control of their hand movements. Their upper bodies will shake and a child who had been walking may begin walking unsteadily with stiff legs.
In addition to those symptoms, children with Rett Syndrome often have seizures, grind their teeth, have bluish tints to their feet and legs due to poor circulation and have contracted joints and spinal curvature.
Physiotherapy to treat Rett Syndrome involves manipulations and exercises to prevent deformities of limbs and spine. This is essential so that the child can learn to walk and so their joints and muscles do not experience atrophy. Those with bluish tints to their feet and legs due to poor circulation must have the extremities massaged often to regain proper circulation. Horseback riding therapy has helped many children with Rett Syndrome as it assists them with balance as well as instills confidence. In addition, hydrotherapy, which is water exercise, helps to keep their extremities limber.
When implemented early, physiotherapy to treat Rett Syndrome can be very beneficial. Although there is no cure for this disease, children who are properly treated through physiotherapy can often attend school, although their communication skills are impaired. Physical therapy includes speech therapy to teach them to communicate using pictures and letters, word boards and even computers.
Physiotherapy to treat Rett Syndrome also involves music therapy. Early exposure to toys and music is essential to help the child develop emotionally. Music therapy is both soothing and teaches communication skills to children with Rett Syndrome.
At the present time, there are no medications used to treat children with Rett Syndrome. Physiotherapy to treat Rett Syndrome, therefore, has proven very effective and given hope to both parents and children who suffer with this disabling condition.