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J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2000 Oct;21(5):315-21.

Family experiences and factors associated with the diagnosis of fragile X syndrome.

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Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599, USA.


The authors interviewed 41 mothers of young boys with fragile X syndrome to determine the process by which they learned their child had fragile X syndrome. The average family had concerns about the child's development at 9 months of age. Developmental delay was determined at an average age of 24 months, and fragile X syndrome was diagnosed at a mean age of 35 months. Considerable variability was found in age of first concern, determination of delay, and diagnosis of fragile X syndrome. Three child variables (severity of delay, autistic behavior, temperament style) and four family variables (mother's age, mother's education, sibling status, social support) did not account for this variability, although birth year did (children born more recently were somewhat more likely to be identified earlier). Families often encountered physicians who initially discounted concerns or said that it was too early to determine whether a problem did indeed exist. Given current knowledge and practice, improving the early identification (under 3 years of age) of children with fragile X syndrome is likely to remain difficult if based solely on behavioral and clinical observations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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