Monday, August 10, 2009
When there seems to be a developmental disorder in your child, you want to do everything you can to help them. This is why the link between music therapy and Rett Syndrome has gotten so much press. By combining this effective and side effect free therapy with more traditional developmental therapies, music therapy and Rett Syndrome are working hand in hand to help children move through the world in a more constructive way – even as their bodies are trying to defy them. Before you can learn about music therapy and Rett Syndrome, it will help to learn the basics of music therapy. In short, music therapy is the practice in which music is used as a tool to help a patient reach certain goals. For some patients, music might be used to encourage them during a particularly hard physical therapy session. For others, music might be used to help with mental disorders by allowing them to speak more freely about their troubles through lyrics, song sharing, etc. And in the case of Rett Syndrome, music seems to helping improve motor coordination, which can allow children to lead a more normal life. The other side of the music therapy and Rett Syndrome discussion is the disorder itself. Characterized by jerking movements of the body, Rett Syndrome is a developmental disorder the presents itself in early childhood. Sometimes it can be as sever as to not allow the child to move their muscles properly, while in other cases, the child may be in extreme pain in trying to move against what their body is trying to do. This is generally a gradual onset disorder and a child may appear to be developing at a normal rate for the first few years of their life. But as the syndrome progresses, the child may begin to show autistic signs – toe walking, coordination troubles, and breathing troubles. Caused by a genetic defect, Rett Syndrome does not have any cure as of yet, but it does appear to respond to concentrated therapy – like physical therapy. This can give the child more mobility while also helping them learn to use their body in a productive manner. By teaching children how to communicate through rhythm and music, the child can feel as though they are a part of their world as well as having the parent feel as though their child can 'speak' to them. These children who use music therapy also seem to be able to make decisions on their own as well as lessening the jerky movements that their body uses. The link between music therapy and Rett Syndrome progress is easy to see in the many research studies that have been done around the world.