Early Childhood Intervention: Module Two – Special Needs & Conditions

Category — 2.1 Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD): Rett Disorder

Children with Rett Syndrome

Rett syndrome is a disorder that primarily affects girls. Like children with ASD, children with Rett syndrome experience difficulty learning how to talk and relate to others. They may also engage in self-stimulatory (see full Glossary) and/or repetitive behaviors, and may have difficulty regulating their sensory system.

Children with Rett syndrome often start life developing like any typical child. Sometime between the ages of 6 months and 2 years, the brains of children with Rett syndrome stop developing. When this happens, these children end up losing some of the skills they have learned. Brain development may resume, but after a period of non-growth. All lost skills will have to be re-taught.


Children with Rett syndrome (Fig. 1) often have seizures and many of them keep wringing and unwringing their fingers. Children with Rett Syndrome require ongoing individualized attention from their parents and caregivers. Their needs are high in terms of their health, behavior and safety. These children also require frequent follow up with their regular feeding, dressing, changing and bathing routines. Parents and caregivers may experience exhaustion and, in some cases, despair when situations get to be overwhelming. Home support and ongoing intervention for parents and caregivers is essential to prevent parents from “losing” their sense of being in charge of their kids.

Girl with Rett syndrome

Figure 1. A girl with Rett Syndrome

Intervention Options

Intervention options are strategies, programs and resources that are available for parents and for service providers working with children with additional needs, and the professionals working with children and families:

Interventionists working with children with Rett syndrome include the following:


March 3, 2011   No Comments