VISTAS Physical Health and Counseling Issues

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Removed from the DSM-5: Considerations for Counselors Treating Individuals With Rett Syndrome

Ashley Clark


Rett syndrome is a relatively rare neurological disorder found primarily in females with implications in various areas of independent functioning. A diagnosis in its relative infancy, Rett syndrome results in a diverse array of symptoms including developmental deficiencies in communication, gross motor skills, social interactions, and intellectual abilities. Evidenced across various cultural groups, the rarity of occurrence makes Rett syndrome a relatively ignored topic in counseling literature. In light of the removal of Rett syndrome as a mental health diagnosis from the DSM-5 and misconceptions regarding this decision, this paper investigates the uniqueness of Rett syndrome and provides suggestions for care. A case illustration is provided to illustrate some considerations for the counseling professional.

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