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What Is Fragile X Syndrome?

September 2019

Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is an inherited condition caused when the FMR1 gene, located on the “long arm” of the X Chromosome, fails to make a protein called FMRP – a protein necessary for normal brain development. FXS is the most common cause of autism, affecting 1 in 4,000 males and 1 in 6,000-8,000 females. The signs of FXS are much more pronounced in males than females.

People with FXS have physical traits like a long face, large ears, hyper-flexible joints, and macroorchidism. They often have intellectual disabilities and have behaviors like shyness, rapid or repetitive speech, anxiety, and difficulty making eye contact. Although their body language may seem to communicate that they don’t want to talk, when people with FXS are in an atmosphere where they are comfortable, their personality can really shine. There is no cure for FXS, but often, people take medications to help them manage their symptoms. There are also many supports that, when started at a young age, can help people with FXS transition smoothly into adolescence and adulthood.

EmployAbility works with a large number of people with FXS and autism, helping them find employment, integration, and independence through our programs. Together with your support, we can help people with Fragile X Syndrome and autism to receive the supports they need to achieve their goals of employment and community integration!

Learn more about Fragile X Syndrome:

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