Challenges & Strengths

Life for people living with Fragile X syndrome presents a different journey to that of people unaffected by Fragile X syndrome, but with the right supports it will be fulfilling.

It is important to recognise both their challenges and strengths, and adapt the home, social, learning and work environments to meet their needs.


People living with Fragile X are often empathetic, have a friendly and sociable nature, and a good sense of humour.

They often have a very good visual memory, and good long term and incidental memory.


Fragile X syndrome can cause a wide range of difficulties with learning, as well as social, language, attentional, emotional, behavioural and medical problems. The effects of Fragile X syndrome  on an individual vary and can range from mild to severe.

Developmental disability is the key presentation of Fragile X syndrome , and typically in boys includes intellectual disability. Females commonly appear less affected by Fragile X syndrome, but this is not always the case and some will be severely affected.

Other common characteristics of Fragile X syndrome will present challenges, such as: planning difficulties, regulating incoming sensory stimuli, concentration and focus, perseveration (getting stuck), lower degree of auditory processing skills and sequential processing skills, difficulty with abstract concepts such as maths and time, and expressive language deficits.

Anxiety, including social anxiety, is also a very common symptom of Fragile X syndrome, and so learning how to manage behaviour and communication in social settings can present a real challenge.

Developmental Delays that Affect Daily Living

Source: Dr Marcia Braden PhD, Daily Living Strategies, Fragile X Workshop, Australia 2017.

To learn more:

Daily Living Strategies and Successful Supports for Children and Adults with Fragile X

Dr Marcia Braden, Fragile X Workshop, Brisbane, 2017. (55 min)

Education and Behaviours: Q&A with Dr Marcia Braden

Produced by Fragile X Association of Australia, Sydney 2015. (60 minutes)

Work Opportunities and Strengths


End of Financial Year donation will make a difference

Your generous donation will help FXAA ensure people living with Fragile X are connected, included, understood and empowered. Specifically, your donation (no matter how big or small) will help us maintain and deliver support and connections to the Fragile X community: 1. Counselling support 2. FXAA Helpline - available 5 days per week 3. Webinar program 4. Peer connection and referrals 5. Advocacy work – for example, our Fragile X Care | Adults & Ageing study that we’re undertaking collaboratively with the Centre for Disability Studies is the first Australian study on the support needs, health & wellbeing of adults with Fragile X Syndrome as they age. All support is sincerely appreciated and helps us make a difference.

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