What Is Fragile X and What are the Symptoms?

CME WebsitesChild Development

Fragile X Syndrome is a genetic disorder which causes a wide range of reasoning problems from mild learning disabilities to severe cognitive or intellectual disabilities.

Fragile X Syndrome Symptoms

Some of the common physical characteristics of Fragile X Syndrome include large ears and a long face. Fragile X is often associated with problems of sensation, emotion, and behavior. Its more common for boys to have an IQ (intelligence quotient) of 75 or less. For girls, some have mental impairment, learning difficulties or a normal IQ.

Not everyone with Fragile X Syndrome has the same signs and symptoms. The signs and symptoms fall into five categories:

  • Intelligence and learning
  • Physical
  • Social and emotional
  • Speech and language
  • Sensory

Diagnosing Fragile X Syndrome

Fragile X can be diagnosed by testing a persons DNA from a blood sample. A physician or genetic counselor must order the test.

Treatment for Children with Fragile X Syndrome

Occupational, speech, and educational therapy, combined with medications comprise the typical treatment plan. A physical therapist can be part of the early intervention team to help with gross motor problems, if they exist.
An occupational therapist can assist with the following:

  • Fine motor weakness
  • Sensory integration disorders
  • Oral motor needs
  • Daily living skills such as sleep, eating, hygiene, dental care and toilet training