Fragile X is a defect of the X chromosome. For some children, this causes mild difficulties with learning. For other children, this condition can cause severe retardation. If you are working with a special needs child, you will need to make special accommodations to maximize how well the child will be able to learn.
An IQ test can help determine how a child with Fragile X can best be treated. Those with an IQ above 70 are best placed in a mainstream classroom that is highly organized. They will also need extra help from special needs workers. Those children with an IQ below 70 can become overwhelmed and might instead need one-on-one instruction or homeschooling. Also, the level of integration that the child might need can vary from grade level to grade level.
Placing children with Fragile X in the mainstream classroom is beneficial because they tend to be interested in other people and are usually very social. Therefore, including them increases the chances that they will perform better academically. Children benefit the most in middle school and high school because they can develop social skills and vocational experiences at this point.
Understanding Physical Differences
Women with fragile X will usually look like the general population. However, those children with Fragile X will sometimes have a very long face, large ears, flat feet and double-jointed fingers. As a result, those children who do not have Fragile X will need to be educated on the nature of this condition and you will need to make sure that bullying is not occurring.
Socializing Fragile X Students
Girls with Fragile X also tend to do better because they compensate for their disability by being very friendly and socially engaging. However, girls can also become easily overwhelmed when placed in crowds or if they have too much stimulation. Light touch and too many noises can be overwhelming. One solution is to always have an alternative lesson plan so that children with Fragile X that might be overstimulated can be moved to a different room so they can calm down.
Preparing the Classroom
To prepare a class to be tolerant of a student with Fragile X, utilize available special needs resources. Help the students understand that the student with Fragile X has challenges beyond his or her control that can affect social interactions or the student's ability to learn. It might also help to discuss famous and successful people with learning disabilities, such as Tom Cruise and Whoopi Goldberg, to help the children understand how those with disabilities can be inspiring and cool