What is Fragile X syndrome?
Fragile X syndrome is a genetic condition that causes a range of developmental problems including learning disabilities and cognitive impairment. Usually, males are more severely affected by this disorder than females.
Affected individuals usually have delayed development of speech and language by age 2. Most males with fragile X syndrome have mild to moderate intellectual disability, while about one-third of affected females are intellectually disabled.
Children with fragile X syndrome may also have anxiety and hyperactive behaviour such as fidgeting or impulsive actions. They may have attention deficit disorder (ADD), which includes an impaired ability to maintain attention and difficulty focusing on specific tasks.
About one-third of individuals with fragile X syndrome have features of autism spectrum disorders that affect communication and social interaction. Seizures occur in about 15 percent of males and about 5 percent of females with fragile X syndrome.
Most males and about half of females with fragile X syndrome have characteristic physical features that become more apparent with age. These features include a long and narrow face, large ears, a prominent jaw and forehead, unusually flexible fingers, flat feet, and in males, enlarged testicles (macroorchidism) after puberty.
Every morning with my son
This boy of mine wakes to a world that is too bright, too loud & too fast. Every day we pray that we can provide him enough love, comfort and security to get him through to the end of the day whole and happy.
Every day we give him his medications, to hopefully smooth the rough edges of the world that will tear at him. Every day we give him his “firsts” and “thens” to sooth the anxiety that can rear its head without warning. Every day, I fear we will fail. Some days the fears come true. Some days they do not.
Regardless of whether the fears were justified or not, every night, my son hits reset. He greets every morning with joy. After years of living in a body with skin too sensitive and a brain too connected to give him the peace everyone else takes for granted, this boy gets up every morning and shines.
I love my son
I wanted to do something for him. A couple months ago, on a whim, I reached out to a friend who also lives this life and knows what this world is like to boys like mine, like his. I gave him a wish, it was really a prayer though he will be very amused to hear that I sought him out for such a thing. I needed something. Something for those days when I am too dejected or worn down by fragile X to imagine for myself what this life is bringing us too. I wanted something to put in front of my son to show him, “SEE, this is what you are…we see you, we love you, we believe in you.”
And so, I thought I should give him an art picture. I gave him a very heartfelt drawing of him and my husband together that says we love him. We will always be there for him. We will survive this life!