Because Rett syndrome is a severe and incurable disorder, parents understandably search for treatments that will improve their child's symptoms and quality of life. Examples of alternative or complementary therapies that have been tried in children with Rett syndrome include:
- Chiropractic treatment
- Myofascial release, a massage therapy that helps loosen stiff muscles and joints
- Animal-assisted therapy, such as using therapy dogs
- Auditory integration training, which uses certain sound frequencies to treat speech and language problems
- Music therapy
- Hydrotherapy, which involves swimming or moving in water
There's not much evidence that these approaches are effective, though some parents who have used them report good results. If you think one (or more) of these therapies might help your child, ask your treatment provider about the possible benefits and how the approach might fit into the medical treatment plan.
Oct. 04, 2012
- Schultz RJ, et al. Rett syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 27, 2012.
- Smeets EE, et al. Rett syndrome. Molecular Syndromology. 2012;2:113.
- Rett syndrome. Genetics Home Reference. http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/rett-syndrome. Accessed Aug. 27, 2012.
- Disorders usually first diagnosed in infancy, childhood or adolescence. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed Aug. 28, 2012.
- Rett syndrome fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/rett/detail_rett.htm. Accessed Sept. 11, 2012.
- Neul JL, et al. Rett syndrome: Revised diagnostic criteria and nomenclature. Annals of Neurology. 2010;68:944.
- Lotan M. Alternative therapeutic intervention for individuals with Rett syndrome. The Scientific World Journal. 2007;29:698.
- Percy AK. Rett syndrome: Exploring the autism link. Archives of Neurology. 2011;68:985.