July marks National Fragile X Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness of this misunderstood syndrome. Although Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is the most common form of inherited intellectual disability, many of us are unaware of this condition.
FSX is a genetic disorder that affects both males and females, though females tend to have milder symptoms. While the exact number of those affected is unknown, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that an estimated one in every 7,000 males and one in every 11,000 have been diagnosed with FSX.
Some of the most common characteristics of FSX include:
- Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, autism, anxiety, poor eye contact, sensory disorders, hand-biting or flapping, aggression
- Learning disabilities
- Elongated face and ears
- Soft skin
- Macroorchidism or large testicles
- Connective tissue problems impacting ears, feet, joints and palate
- Very social
Testing and treatment are available but there is no cure yet. More research is needed and through raising awareness there is hope that one day a cure will be found.
This month is to remember the importance of supporting and celebrating those who live with this condition and the families, such as Flatrock, who help care for them.