Friday, January 6, 2012

Living with Rett Syndrome

Cecelia Farley sits at the kitchen table of her apartment in Hailey's Woodside subdivision and watches her friend Marissa cuddle Cecelia's 3-year-old daughter, Delilah.
"Marissa's the baby-whisperer," she says. "She's a miracle worker."
Delilah and Cecelia certainly need a miracle, but sadly, a slightly bigger one than Marissa's magic can conjure.
"Delilah can't communicate," Cecelia, 20, says matter-of-factly. "She's lost purposeful hand movements. She used to put puzzles together and play with cars—now she doesn't play with any toys. She has seizures and heart attacks."
Delilah has Rett syndrome, a rare genetic neurological disorder that occurs almost exclusively in females. The syndrome manifests itself after 6-18 months of early normal development (in Delilah's case, at 11 months), and rapidly causes developmental regression, leading to lifelong impairments.

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