During Rett Syndrome month, sophomore asks others to look beyond symptoms

Octoberkylie is the month designated for Rett Syndrome awareness month. Rett Syndrome is a rare postnatal neurological disorder that occurs almost exclusively in girls. It produces severe impairments, affecting virtually every part of the child’s life, including their ability to walk, speak, eat and breathe easily.

Sophomore Kylie Elser has the disorder and gets around on wheelchair and communicates mostly through a computer. Elser wants people to know that Rett Syndrome does not define her, and she shares many of the same interests other people have, including fashion, reading, places and people.

“I would like people to know that Kylie has the same hopes, dreams and aspirations that everyone has,” Elser’s mom Caroline said. “She is a normal person that wants friendship, connection to others and to be involved in her community. Rett Syndrome just gets in the way of her showing what is going on in her brain. Please take the time to say hello, even when she is having a sleepy day and doesn’t respond. She knows and will remember you took the time to be kind.”

“I’m a good big sister. Friendly. I like spicy food. I like music,” Elser said. She said that having Rett Syndrome is tough because of the seizures, all the medicine she has to take, and the struggles with trying to communicate, but she said that one good thing she experiences from having Rett syndrome is meeting new people.

“Rett Syndrome is not who Kylie is,” Caroline Elser said. “It gets in the way of Kylie being herself. Rett Syndrome steals communication, mobility, breathing, normal heart function, eating and even Kylie’s ability to control her body temperature. We are so grateful that doctors are working on treatments that will help Kylie and other individuals stay healthy for years to come.”

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