Fragile X Syndrome

Fragile X Syndrome is a genetic condition that causes a range of developmental problems, including learning disabilities and cognitive impairment. Statistics show that boys are more severely affected by this disorder than girls. Affected people usually have delayed development of speech and language by the time they are two years old. Most boys with Fragile X Syndrome have mild to moderate cognitive disabilities whereas one third of girls will experience these difficulties.

Children with Fragile X Syndrome may also have anxiety and hyperactive behaviour such as fidgeting and/or impulsive actions. They may have ADHD as well. About a third of children with Fragile X Syndrome have features of autism (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) that affect communication and social interaction. Seizures occur in about 15% boys and 5% girls.

Most people with Fragile X Syndrome will have physical features that become more apparent with age: a long and narrow face, large ears, a prominent jaw and forehead, usually flexible fingers and flat feet.

Suport Strategies

You may need to:
  • Provide as much attention as possilbe
  • Have an organised set of routines and make sure hte pupils is notified of any changes in these routines in advance
  • Set up an agreed award system for good behaviour
  • Reward specific behaviours and explain this clearly
  • Praise every small achievement
  • Make use of visual clues
  • Give short, simple instructions - only one or two at a time
  • Let learners work in an individual or paired situation in preference to groups
  • Be realistic in expectations, setting short, clearly defined targets