What is Rett Syndrome?
As defined by the International Rett Syndrome Foundation, Rett syndrome is a brain disorder affecting development in childhood, has been identified almost exclusively in females. Rett syndrome results in severe movement and communication problems following apparently normal development for the first six months of life. The characteristic features include loss of speech and purposeful hand use, occurrence of repetitive hand movements, abnormal walking, abnormal breathing, and slowing in the rate of head growth.
Benefits of music therapy for individuals with Rett syndrome:
Music, rhythm, and musical instruments significantly interest and motivate girls with Rett syndrome. Preliminary studies substantiate that music successfully increases responsiveness, hand use, communication, choice making, activation of augmentative devices, and self-regulation in learners with Rett syndrome for all the following reasons:
- Music, rhythm, and musical instruments significantly interest and motivate girls with Rett syndrome.
- Research findings show that music can successfully increases responsiveness, hand use, communication, choice making, activation of augmentative devices, and self-regulation in girls with Rett syndrome.
- Music is multi-sensory, calling upon simultaneous listening, watching, touching, and nonverbal expression.
- Music is an effective way to stimulate, activate, and engage.
- Musicality remains throughout life, providing a long-term strength, talent, hobby, and common bond among typical peers.
San Diego Music Therapy for Rett Syndrome
Here are ways Coast Music Therapy can help your daughter :
- Individual music therapy
- Sibling music therapy sessions to promote interaction
- IEP Music therapy in your child’s school special education program
Rett Syndrome Music Tips
Five Tips: Music Therapy for Rett Syndrome
- Play eye-catching instruments, such as an ocean drum or radiant tambourine in different positions to help visual tracking.
- Use pictures of favorite songs, instruments, or singers during choice making activities.
- Try a mallet-cuff, Velcro wrist bells, a cabasa or a chime tree as accessible instrument options from West Music.
- Add music instrument sound effects to stories to gain attention and focus.
- Record the last word of a song on a switch and have your child fill-in-the-blank. For example, record “O” on a switch, and sing Old MacDonald, leaving off the “O” in “E-I-E-I-O” and waiting for her to hit the switch.