2014, pp 2689-2709

Communication Skills in Girls with Rett Syndrome

Abstract

This chapter will provide a summary of current knowledge regarding communication skills in Rett syndrome. The overwhelming majority of individuals diagnosed with Rett syndrome will not acquire verbal language. They also present with impairments in cognition as well as motor skills, which provide medical personnel, educators, and therapists with unique challenges in assessing the developmental level of the individual with Rett syndrome and in designing therapy and educational programs to advance their skills and maximize their potential. The literature on speech and communication in the Rett syndrome population is limited. This chapter will begin with a brief introduction to Rett syndrome and provide a summary of the key characteristics of the disorder. An introduction to key terminology in communication, with emphasis on augmentative and alternative strategies, will be provided. The chapter will conclude with a summary of current knowledge in the area of communication in Rett syndrome, with a focus on the evidence for best practices in communication assessment and intervention.