Rett syndrome is a pervasive developmental disorder that is almost entirely found in females. The few cases that
occur in males usually result in miscarriage, still birth or early death.
Typically, an individual with Rett syndrome will develop normally until they reach the age of 6 up to 18 months. It
is at this stage that regression can occur. Like other pervasive developmental disorders, communication is of great
If verbal, the child will often loose this ability. Rett's is often misdiagnosed as Autism due to their similar
characteristics such as: a lack of interest in typically active play, hand-wringing and irritability. Seizures are
The cause for Rett syndrome is the mutation in the MECP2 gene, although this is not the cause in all cases. As is
the case with other PDD's, the most common Rett syndrome treatments are: occupational, physio and speech therapy.
Parents and workers are also advised to have taken a seizure management course.
Rett disorder is named after Dr. Andreas Rett who first diagnosed the disorder in 1966. It came more into
prominence in 1983 with a paper written by Dr. Bengt Hagberg. Research is still in the early stages for Rett's and
thus much is still unknown.
Rett syndrome occurs in approximately 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 23,000. One thing can be said about all individuals with
Rett disorder, they all are beautiful with amazing eyes and wonderful smiles.
We have some links listed below that offer books and other resources on Rett's from leading pervasive developmental
If you wish to learn more about Fragile X, I encourage you to visit the page called: Fragile X Syndrome.