Fragile X Syndrome
By Holli Forrest
What is Fragile X Syndrome?
- long facial features and larger ears in males
- seizures in some
- developmental delays
- learning disabilities
- social and behavioral problems
- frequently occurs with Autism, Anxiety, and Attention Deficit Disorder
FXS Learning Styles
Students with FXS cover a wide range of abilities and aptitudes. There is no one single definition for this disorder. Many students outperform expectations based on cognitive abilities. Some general suggestions for working with students with FXS are:
- Maintain a calm classroom environment free from distracting stimuli
- Don't underestimate a student based on an IQ test
- Approach lessons in a familiar, repetitive way
- Use simple visuals and model, model, model
- Use visual coding or extra scaffolding when a task requires organization or planning
- Give students the feeling of completion or closure on tasks
- Assess with the "cloze" technique or fill in the blanks
- Use an interest inventory to keep your students motivated
- Keep going when you feel unmotivated by little progress
- Reward with "high fives" instead of the sensory overload of a hug
Total Inclusion - one school's story
- daily morning meeting
- proactive approach to discipline
- positive teacher language
- choices in learning
It promotes positive social skills which lends itself to a good model for inclusion. The school also hired an inclusion specialist and a behavior specialist in addition to the current special education team. Teachers were on board once they realized that this type of teaching gave them authority to mold their own classroom. Because the responsive classroom approach embraces differences, special education students are better able to recognize their strengths. Parents like the program, because all children benefit from the resources being spread out through the classroom. For example, a student with FXS has a full time aide. The aide spends a lot of time with that student, but she also gives help to the other kids in the classroom. It's a win-win situation!
Here is a link to video about the the responsive classroom approach: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7qnPnP3O1w&feature=youtu.be.
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012, December 11 Published). Fragile X Syndrome. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved June 28, 2013, from http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fxs/index.html.
- United States National Library of Medicine. (2013, June 17 Published). Fragile X Syndrome. Genetic Home Reference: your guide to understanding genetic conditions. Retrieved June 28, 2013, from http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/fragile-x-syndrome.
- National Fragile X Foundation Education Project. (2004). Lesson Planning Guide for Students with Fragile X Syndrome: a practical approach for the classroom. Retrieved from http://www.fragilex.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Lesson-Planning-Guide-for-Students-with-FXS.pdf.
- Northeast Foundation for Children. (2004). What is the Responsive Classroom Approach. Retrieved June 28, 2013, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7gnPnP301w&feature=youtu.be.
- Galley, M. (2004). No Separate Room. Education Week, 23(17), 30-31.