Future and Strengths
Life for people with Fragile X presents a different journey to that of an unaffected person, however, with support and help it can be fulfilling, include meaningful work, relationships and achievements.
It is likely that a person with Fragile X will need some level of support throughout their life. Intellectual disability is the most significant characteristic of those with Fragile X. Most males and two thirds of females affected exhibit some intellectual disability.
The range of learning problems and intellectual disability is wide with some individuals affected by minor developmental delays and others with severe intellectual disability.
Males typically appear more severely affected than females due to males having only one X chromosome however educators are often surprised at their achievements. Mathematics and other abstract concepts are often very hard to understand for even those high functioning Fragile X people.
Anxiety, including social anxiety, is also a very common feature of people with Fragile X and learning how to behave and communicate appropriately in social settings can present a real challenge.
However people with Fragile X also have very real strengths including:
- A high aptitude for visual learning and imitative behaviour. This enables training in work settings and coaching for varying degrees of independence depending on the individual.
- Long term and incidental memory.
- Ability to relate and take part in concrete and relevant tasks
- Good functional life skills
- A friendly and good sense of humour.
Some of the achievements people with Fragile X have made include:
- Higher and diploma education
- Driving a car
- Working independently or in a workshelter situation
- Living independently or in an assisted group environment
- Main stream education with some special needs catered for