Speech Therapy

Retts Syndrome – What Are The Symptoms?

Pregnancy not only fills the parents and immediate family with hope and dreams but it also makes all the well wishers and friends happy too! I was very happy for her. Aunt Alda always says, too much of happiness is always followed by sadness. And it did. My friend’s baby suffered from Retts Syndrome. A normal pregnancy, normal child, weeks of overwhelming happiness, and then things started to look odd. Decreased hand movements, reduced interest to try to speak and mumble, and uncoordinated motor skills are a few signs of the retts syndrome.

What Are The Symptoms?
Following are some of the signs of the disorder which should be very carefully observed and any abnormality should be consulted with the doctor. Baby girls are the most affected by this disorder when compared to boys.

  • A normal baby by birth usually slows down and the body and brain growth is not normal.
  • The very first sign of the syndrome is evident by the time the baby is 6 months old. The head size is peculiarly small in size than it should be at that stage.
  • By the time the beautiful daughter is a year or year and half old, she would find it difficult to coordinate her hand movements. As the disorder progresses, the child develops her own style of hand patterns like rubbing, clapping, or squeezing etc.
  • By 12 to 18 months the baby girl experiences lack of motor skills.
  • The impairment is very sudden and fast initially which slows down later and the deterioration is observed gradually.
  • Communicational skills, both verbal and non-verbal too are impaired. Their ability to speak, try to speak etc, is affected drastically and the girl becomes uninterested in people, things, toys, games, and so on.
  • They avoid eye contact and have strange and odd eye movements. Though after the initial loss, these kids regain some control over their non-verbal communicational skills and eye movements.
  • These babies also develop many issues with their breathing. They breathe rapidly, or hold back breath, exhale air or saliva forcefully etc.
  • Irritation, agitation, crying, screaming increases in these kids and it might last for longer periods of time. But, with age they grow calmer.
  • Their behavior is odd and abnormal like licking hands, putting their hand in mouth, laughing for no reason, holding hair or clothes firmly.
  • Seizures are the most common symptom in these children. The severity of it varies from person to person and it can be muscle spam or epilepsy in full force.
  • Their spine is abnormally curved and it is evident by the age of 8 to 11 years.
  • Constipation is a frequent problem.
  • Heart beat is abnormal and can be life threatening.

These symptoms of retts syndrome should be paid attention to and any abnormality or slowness in the child’s growth mentally or physically should be reported to the doctor.

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