October is Rett Syndrome Awareness Month!

14-5Have you heard of Rett Syndrome? Rett Syndrome is a rare developmental disorder, often misdiagnosed as autism, cerebral palsy, or non-specified developmental disorder. To help raise public awareness of this disorder, the International Rett Syndrome Foundation has designated October as Rett Syndrome Awareness Month. In support of this campaign, Speech Associates of NY will dedicate this week’s blog to providing some basic information about Rett Syndrome and how a speech-language pathologist can help.

Rett syndrome is first recognized in infancy and is caused by a mutation on one of several spots on the X chromosome of a specific gene called MECP2. A child with Rett Syndrome will experience normal or near-normal development in early infancy, up through about six to eight-teen months of age. This is followed by a period of regression in which some skills are lost. Brain function is disrupted and can cause issues with cognitive, sensory, emotional, motor, or autonomic function. The type and extent of disability can range widely between individuals. Abilities ranging from speech and communication to breathing and swallowing may be disrupted.

While there is no cure for Rett syndrome, professional intervention and therapy can help a child with this disorder thrive. Speech-language pathologists are often involved in therapy targeted at helping the child communicate and connect effectively with others. This may involve finding assistive technology, such as a communication device, that is appropriate to the child and helping them to learn to use it effectively. The speech-language pathologist will also help assess the child for breathing and swallowing difficulties which may affect their nutritional intake and provide counseling.

To learn more about Rett Syndrome, visit the International Rett Syndrome Foundation at http://www.rettsyndrome.org.

Has your child been diagnosed with Rett Syndrome? Share your story in the comments section below!

For information on our New York based Speech-Language Pathology services, please call Speech Associates of New York today at (212) 308-7725 or visit our website at http://www.speechassociatesofny.com and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help

© 2014, Speech Associates of New York – All Rights Reserved

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