Fragile X syndrome
Fragile X syndrome is a genetic disorder that often results in mental retardation. Male children are generally more seriously affected than female children. Early intervention that includes a team of health and academic professionals can help your child reach his full potential.
What causes Fragile X syndrome?
Fragile X syndrome is a genetic condition that is caused by the mutation of a gene (the FMR1 gene) on the X chromosome. It affects male children twice as often as it does female children, and males are generally more seriously affected.
Is Fragile X syndrome serious?
Fragile X syndrome is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability and the most common known genetic cause of autism. Kids with Fragile X syndrome will likely experience developmental delays, behaviour problems, as well as intellectual disabilities. Some children with Fragile X syndrome may develop seizures, digestive disorders, or ear and vision problems.
Can I prevent Fragile X syndrome?
Fragile X syndrome is genetic. If you have a family history of Fragile X syndrome, you may want to consult with a genetic counsellor before becoming pregnant.
How do I know if my child has Fragile X syndrome?
There are some physical signs of Fragile X syndrome that may lead to early diagnosis, but some children are not diagnosed until they have entered school. In addition to developmental delays and behavior problems, kids with Fragile X syndrome may have the following symptoms:
- Hand flapping
- Word and sentence repetition
- Large, prominent ears
- Enlarged testes in males
- Very flexible joints
How do I treat Fragile X syndrome?
Treating Fragile X syndrome involves managing the symptoms of the disorder. Working with a team of professionals that include speech/language therapists, physical and occupational therapists, special educators, psychologists and pediatricians can ensure that your child reaches his full potential.
Should I call the doctor?
Your doctor can help you diagnose, treat and manage your child’s Fragile X syndrome.
What you need to know about Fragile X syndrome
- Fragile X syndrome is a genetic disorder.
- Fragile X syndrome is not curable, but early intervention can help your child succeed.
- Fragile X syndrome occurs twice as often in males as females.
- See a genetic counselor if you have a family history of Fragile X syndrome.
Find more relevant articles and information about Fragile X syndrome
- Read more about mental retardation
- Read more about children who stutter
- Find out more about baby development and key milestones
Written by Rebecca Stigall for Kidspot, New Zealand's parenting resource for family health. Sources include Better Health Channel, NSW Health and Health Insite.
Last revised: Wednesday, 20 January 2010
This article contains general information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.