Assessing the developmental level in Rett syndrome: an alternative approach?
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Reviewing the literature concerning the developmental level of Rett Syndrome (RS) girls, one is confronted with important difficulties in interpreting the meaning of the results of these studies. Anecdotal evidence from parents suggests that RS girls might understand more than these studies indicate. Analyses of these examples suggests that there are other learning mechanisms than those assessed in classical developmental tests, which are important for RS girls in order to learn to know and understand their world. Studies on learning and memory in early infancy have demonstrated a variety of such mechanisms and – particularly classical conditions – provide a theoretical framework to understand the learning processes of these girls. Based on this theoretical background, an assessment strategy can be developed, with the possibility to differentiate even very low functioning RS girls.
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