Fragile X Syndrome Related Concerns

What to know

Fragile X syndrome (FXS) often occurs with other conditions. Some of these conditions include anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), depression, difficult peer relationships, intellectual disabilities, and learning disorders.

three kids with fxs sitting on haystack

Anxiety and depression


There are many different types of anxiety disorders with many different causes and symptoms. These include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, separation anxiety, selective mutism, and different types of phobias. Separation anxiety is most common among young children. These children feel very worried when they are apart from their parents.


Everyone feels worried, anxious, sad, or stressed from time to time. However, if these feelings do not go away and they interfere with daily life (for example, keeping a child home from school or other activities, or keeping an adult from working or attending social activities), a person might have depression. Having either a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure for at least two weeks might mean that someone has depression. Children and teens with depression might be irritable instead of sad. Depression can be treated with counseling and medication.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have trouble paying attention and controlling impulsive behaviors. They might act without thinking about what the result will be and, in some cases, they are also overly active. It is normal for children to have trouble focusing and behaving at one time or another. However, these behaviors continue beyond early childhood (0–5 years of age) among children with ADHD. Symptoms of ADHD can continue and can cause difficulty at school, at home, or with friends.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavior challenges. People with ASD handle information in their brain differently than other people.

ASD is a spectrum disorder, which means ASD affects each person differently and can range from very mild to severe. People with ASD may share some similar symptoms, such as problems with social interaction, but there are differences in when the symptoms start, how severe they are, and the specifics of the symptoms.

Difficult peer relationships

FXS can have many effects on a child’s development. It can make childhood friendships, or peer relationships, very difficult. These relationships contribute to children’s immediate happiness and may be very important to their long-term development.

Children with FXS might have difficulty in their peer relationships, for example, being rejected by peers or not having close friends. In some cases, children with peer problems may also be at higher risk for anxiety, behavioral and mood disorders, substance abuse, and delinquency as teenagers.

Intellectual disability

People with intellectual disability have a significantly below-average score on a test of mental ability or intelligence. They may also have limitations in their ability to function in areas of daily life, such as communication, self-care, and getting along in social situations and school activities.

Children with intellectual disability can and do learn new skills, but they develop more slowly than children with average intelligence and adaptive skills. There are different degrees of intellectual disability, ranging from mild to severe. A person’s level of intellectual disability can be defined by their intelligence quotient (IQ), or by the types and amount of support they need.

Learning disorders

There are many kinds of learning disorders (also called learning disabilities). They can range from mild to severe and affect each person in different ways. Learning disorders may affect a person’s ability to read, write, listen, talk, reason, do math, follow instructions, or stay organized.

Keep Reading: Learning Disorders