Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only. Consult a qualified medical professional for advice and clarification.
The table below provides a simplified version of the DSM-IV definition, used by professionals to diagnose disorders. To make a rough assessment of whether a person has Rett’s Disorder or not, tick the box under “ANS” if your client matches the description.
If you are diagnosing adults, please refer to their behavior as a young child. They may learned to cope through experience and may not fulfill the diagnostic criteria any more.
Rett’s Disorder is relatively rare and usually affects only females. The client beings to exhibit autism-like symptoms around around 6-18 months old.
DSM-IV definition on Rett’s Disorder (299.80)
A. All of the following:
- Apparently normal prenatal & perinatal development
- Apparently normal psychomotor development through the first 5 months after birth
- Normal head circumference at birth
B. Onset of all of the following after the period of normal development:
- Deceleration of head growth between ages 5 & 48 months
- Loss of previously acquired purposeful hand skills between ages 5 & 30 months with the subsequent development of stereotyped hand movements (e.g., hand-wringing or hand washing)
- Loss of social engagement early in the course (although often social interaction develops later)
- Appearance of poorly coordinated gait or trunk movements
- Severely impaired expressive & receptive language development with severe psychomotor retardation
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