Fragile X syndrome-Social and Emotional symptoms

Children with Fragile X suffer a great deal with social anxiety. They often are uncomfortable with meeting new people, doing new things, or being in a new environment. Sometimes they are so nervous that they will completely avoid social situations. Physically they may not look people in the eye and/ or speak very fast.  Most children feel some level of anxiety when they are visiting someplace new or meeting new people, but usually they will warm up to the new environment and open up. This is not the case for children with FXS. They have trouble ever reaching a comfort level.

Effects of Fragile X in Males

Males with FXS often suffer from anxiety.  They also easily get overwhelmed by sights and sounds, and may become very distressed from being in a crowded place like a market or a mall.

  • Transitions are very hard such as entering a new classroom, or moving into a new house.
  • Some boys with FXS may respond to the stress by making their bodies very tense and rigid.
  • The have a tendency to whine or cry out when suffering from anxiety.
  • Sometimes their behavior will escalate into tantrums and panic attacks.
  • The may exhibit repetitive behaviors like rocking back and forth or tapping their feet.
  • They may even bite themselves.
  • When they reach adolescence the emotional outbursts may increase due to their rising hormone levels. They may become aggressive and could get themselves in trouble at school.
  • In addition, Fragile X males are likely to experience longer periods of anxiety when compared with their peers.
  • As a result it takes males with FXS a longer period of time to calm themselves.

Effects of Fragile X in females

Females with FXS also have trouble interacting socially, but it is too a much milder degree. They may feel  ill at ease with strangers and may have trouble making new friends.  Usually, the girls with FXS tend to be much less aggressive than boys with FXS when they reach their pre-teen and teenage years.

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