Understanding Fragile X Syndrome

Fragile X syndrome is the most common known cause of inherited intellectual disability and the most common known single gene cause of autism spectrum disorder.

It is estimated that about 90,000 people in Australia are impacted by Fragile X in some way – as carriers of Fragile X, or with Fragile X syndrome.

  • Fragile X syndrome is an inherited, life-long condition

  • People with Fragile x syndrome have intellectual disability, behavioural and learning challenges, as well as certain physical characteristics

  • Fragile X syndrome is the leading cause of inherited intellectual disability, affecting about 1 in 4,000 males and about 1 in 6,000 females.

  • Depending on how an individual’s FMR1 gene has been changed by Fragile X syndrome depends whether they show symptoms of Fragile X or are carriers with no symptoms

  • Fragile X syndrome occurs in both males and females but females generally have milder symptoms than males

  • Fragile X syndrome is the leading known genetic cause of autism

People living with Fragile X syndrome experience the effects throughout their lifetime. These effects will vary from person to person and may include:

  • Intellectual and learning disability
  • Speech delay or minimal speech
  • Fine and gross motor delay, coordination difficulties
  • Low muscle tone
  • Anxiety, hyperarousal, ADHD, depression
  • Autistic-like behaviours
  • Aversion to touch, loud noises, bright lights & strong smells
  • Avoidance of eye contact
  • Mood instability

This information has been provided to us by the Fragile X Association of Australia.

How can CPL help?

Getting out into your community

Community access is an important part of everyday life. As this looks different for everyone, we will meet with you and your family to discuss what you like to do and how we can support you.

Independent living

CPL provides 24/7 Supported Independent Living services, and has a number of vacancies in accessible homes.

Employment and Training opportunities

There are a range of disability employment and training pathways for people with Fragile X syndrome, designed to help you reach your goals.


Give us a call on 1800 275 753 to discuss your support needs with our team, or send an online enquiry and we'll be in touch.

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