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Management of young children with Rett disorder in the controlled multi-sensory (Snoezelen) environment

      Abstract

      Rett syndrome is a neurological disorder resulting from an X-linked dominant mutation. It is characterized by a variety of physical and perceptual disabilities, resulting in a need for constant therapy programs to be administered on a regular basis throughout the client's life. As the child with Rett disorder (RD) is entering the more obvious, hectic phase of this syndrome (stage II), signs of extreme agitation and discomfort are usually exhibited. This behavior is suspected to reflect damaging chaotic processes accruing in the brain at that time. Experts advise that calming techniques might be helpful for children with Rett during this period. This may be our earliest opportunity to change the course of the disorder. Now that our knowledge of RD has increased and children are being diagnosed at a substantially earlier age, new intervention methods should be introduced for parents and therapists. This may ensure more suitable treatment. The multi-sensory environment may provide a soothing haven, which appeals to the child with RD. This article provides a short review of RD typical phenotype and suggests suitable activities that could take place in the multi-sensory environment with this population at the early stages of appearance of the Rett disorder.

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