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Volume 6, Pages 1314-1338
Review Article

Physical Therapy Intervention for Individuals with Rett Syndrome

1National Evaluation Team, Israeli Rett Center , Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer, Ramat Gan, Israel
2Zvi Quittman Residential Centers, Elwyn, Jerusalem, Israel
3Department of Physical Therapy, Academic College of Judea and Samaria, Ariel, Israel
4Child Development and Rehabilitation Center, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, USA

Received 24 June 2006; Revised 5 August 2006; Accepted 6 August 2006

Academic Editor: Joav Merrick

Copyright © 2006 Meir Lotan and Susan Hanks.


Individuals with Rett syndrome (RS) present a vast array of orthopedic and neurological difficulties. Typical problems, which may need to be addressed, when treating this population are functional limitations, low cardiovascular capacity, hypotonia, ataxia, apraxia, loss of transitional movements, spasticity, scoliosis and/or kyphosis, loss of ambulation, loss of hand function, foot deformities, and spatial disorientation. Coping with such difficulties and overcoming the associated limitations carry a wearisome task for the individual with Rett as well as for her family. An informed and intensely applied physical therapy regime can help the child and the family cope and even overcome the above-mentioned limitations. The present article presents some insights regarding the intervention with individuals with RS, an overview of typical neuromuscular problems associated with RS, and appropriate suggestions pertaining to clinical intervention that have been found to contribute to this population’s well-being. The information presented is mainly based on the clinical knowledge of the authors.