Fragile X Syndrome

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What to expect

Fragile X Syndrome

What is Fragile X Syndrome?

Fragile X syndrome is a genetically inherited condition. It is the most common inherited condition which causes learning difficulties in children.

Children with fragile X syndrome may present with varying degrees of learning difficulties from mild to severe.

A child with fragile X syndrome may have delayed speech and language development and also have difficulties in attention, social skills and interacting with others.

The symptoms of fragile X are similar to the symptoms seen in autistic spectrum disorders however they are classed as separate diagnoses. The degree and severity of the symptoms found in fragile X will vary for each child.

A child with fragile X syndrome will often need speech and language therapy to help support their communication needs.

What causes fragile X syndrome?

Fragile X syndrome is caused by an increase in size of part of the FMR1 gene which is responsible for normal intellectual functioning. The increase in size of part of the gene means it cannot work normally which then causes a child to have fragile X syndrome.

What problems caused by fragile X syndrome can speech and language therapy help with?

Children with fragile X syndrome can experience a variety of speech and language difficulties, these difficulties can be helped by speech and language therapy. Children with fragile X syndrome may have difficulty in the following areas:

How are speech and language difficulties in fragile X syndrome identified?

The speech and language therapist will carry out an initial assessment to help determine what speech and language difficulties the child with fragile X syndrome might have. An initial assessment will include:

  • A general discussion with you about your child's communication skills and any concerns you may have.
  • Taking a case history of your child's development.
  • A general observation of your child's communication and play skills.
  • A more detailed assessment of your child's speech and language abilities. Assessment may include asking your child to follow verbal instructions, and asking your child to name pictures.

How does speech and language therapy help children with fragile X syndrome?

The variety and severity of speech and language difficulties experienced by children with fragile X syndrome will differ for each individual child. The speech and language therapist will tailor therapy around your child's specific communication needs.

General aims of therapy will be to maximise your child's functional communication. This may include working on your child's expressive (verbal and written) and receptive (understanding) communication, speech and attention and listening.

Depending on the severity of their learning difficulty, a child with fragile X syndrome will usually experience difficulty in the school environment and in their learning. The speech and language therapist will aim to support your child's communication needs in both the home and school environment.

What would speech and language therapy for children with fragile X syndrome involve?

An initial assessment carried out by the speech and language therapist will decide what the best form of treatment is for your child. The speech and language therapist will also take into account yours and your child's wishes and expectations of speech and language therapy. Speech and language therapy may involve:

How do I arrange a speech and language therapy assessment for a child with fragile X syndrome?

To arrange an appointment with one of our speech and language therapists for you and your child please email office@slt.co.uk or call 0330 0885 643.

Summary

Fragile X syndrome is a genetic condition which causes learning difficulties in children. A child with fragile X syndrome may experience a variety of speech and language difficulties with a degree of severities. Speech and language therapy will support your child's specific communication needs. If you feel you and your child may benefit from any of the above services then please email office@slt.co.uk or call 0330 0885 643.


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To speak to a Speech and Language Therapist or to book an appointment, call us on 0161 883 0111 or email office@slt.co.uk

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