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Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2006 Nov;15(4):353-64.

Communication in young children with fragile X syndrome: a qualitative study of mothers' perspectives.

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University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA.



To provide descriptive and qualitative information about communication in young children with fragile X syndrome (FXS) and about how families react to and accommodate communication differences in their children.


In-depth interviews were conducted with 55 mothers of young children with FXS. Interviewers asked mothers to describe their children's communication, strategies they used to help promote their children's communication, communication-related frustrations, their expectations for their children, and the roles that they perceive for themselves.


Over half the children were nonverbal and learning to communicate with augmentative and alternative communication. Mothers reported using strategies that were developmentally appropriate and recommended by early childhood experts, such as reading and talking to their children. Many mothers identified challenges faced in helping their child to communicate, and some cited difficulty obtaining speech-language services as a challenge. Mothers identified their roles as caregiver, teacher, therapist, and advocate.


The perspectives offered by mothers are valuable because they indicate how children with FXS communicate in natural contexts. Information about mothers' expectations and roles may help clinicians to be sensitive to variables that will affect working with young children and their families.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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