fragile x syndrome

Speech Tips for Fragile X Syndrome

Speech Tips for Fragile X Syndrome

Fragile X syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes mental disability. Many parents report that children with Fragile X syndrome have a variety of problems. Some of them are social and, behavioral issues, speech and language difficulties, and sensory issues. There is no cure for this disorder. However, therapy services can help children learn important skills. Services can include therapy Speech therapy, Physiotherapy, Occupational therapy, Behavior therapy, etc. Therapists also help you in providing tips to work at home. This article mainly focuses on Speech tips for Fragile X syndrome.

Causes of Fragile X Syndrome

Fragile X is caused by a change in the Fragile X Mental Retardation 1 (FMR1) gene on the X chromosome. Normally, the gene produces a protein known as Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein or FMRP. This protein is necessary for brain growth. This change in the gene results in producing only a small amount or none of the protein. This causes Fragile X symptoms.

For more information about please read this article Fragile X syndrome.

Before we learn the speech tips of Fragile X syndrome, it is important to know their speech-language features.

Speech and language features

  1. Delayed speech and language skills.
  2. Short word utterances.
  3. Repetitive speech.
  4. Fast rate of speech with fluctuations
  5. Poor speech clarity for sentences.
  6. Understands better than speaking.
  7. Poor social skills.
  8. Limited vocabulary.
  9. Poor rhythm in speech.
  10. Memory difficulties.
  11. Hearing problem.

Speech and Language Tips

Early identification and intervention are important for children with fragile x syndrome. Before it is too late parents should gain knowledge and skills about the treatment process. Speech therapy is personalized for each child. The therapist considers child development, strength, and needs to design a therapy plan simultaneously gives speech tips to parents.

There are many techniques to implement at home. Above all is creating a barrier-free environment for the child.

Speech Tips for Fragile X Syndrome

Here are some “Speech tips for Fragile X syndrome” and how to cope up with speech-language difficulties in daily life.

Tips to develop attention

  1. Choose the child’s area of interest. For example- child’s favorite music, toys, etc
  2. Teach new things by showing pictures.
  3. Talk to the child loudly and clearly.
  4. Work for short periods.
  5. Improve eye contact skills.
  6. Pick calming activities. For example- stress ball, playdough, etc
  7. Provide sensory toys to improve vision and hearing skills

Tips to strengthen oral motor skills

  1. Teach the child simple exercises to strengthen the jaw, lips, and tongue.
  2. Practice in front of the mirror for clarity.
  3. Show the placement of each sound while practicing.
  4. Activities like blowing and sucking also helps.
  5. Help the child with some tools like sensory brushes, teethers, etc

Speech Tips to reduce repetitive speech

  1. Video/ Audio record the child’s speech and play for feedback
  2. Demonstrate correct rhythm of speech
  3. Demonstrate correct rate of speech by speaking slowly
  4. Play rhymes and encourage the child to sing along
  5. In addition, you can enact for each word. For example, sing Twinkle twinkle- do the hand moments

Speech tips to improve articulation

  1. Show placement of each sound. For example- /p/ join your lips together
  2. Explain how we say the sound. For example – join your lips, press and release air to produce /p/
  3. Combine each sound with vowels, such as /pa/, /pi/, /pu/, etc
  4. Identify the difficult sounds and say simple words with that sound.
  5. Further, practice sentences and stories

Tips to improve language skills

  1. Introduce new words every week.
  2. Show pictures or real objects while teaching. For example:  take picture of any fruit and say the name.
  3. Make sure the child uses those words in his daily life.
  4. Encourage the child to speak in short sentences.
  5. Give opportunities to communicate because children understand the need to speak.
  6. Use alternative communication for non-verbal children.
  7. Have regular storytelling time during nights.
  8. Ask simple questions. For example: Where is mommy?
  9. Provide enough time to respond to the questions
  10. Use facial expressions and hand movements during daily conversations
  11. Give feedback to the child as soon as he responds to you. For example- Good job, Clap, etc

Tips to increase social skills

  1. Play various games with the child.
  2. Pretend play- ask the child to pretend as a superhero.
  3. Roleplay like a doctor and patient, Mother and child, etc
  4. Children best learn with peer groups. Therefore, allow the child to play with peers every day.
  5. Further, the child must interact with the elderly group.
  6. Responding to social greetings and smile is necessary.
  7. Because imitation skills are strong, group play will benefit them.
  8. Children with Fragile X syndrome have some anxiety concerns.
  9. To deal with day-to-day life “The National Fragile X foundation” suggests some strategies.

Here is the link to go through those strategies.

In summary, Fragile X syndrome children need therapies and compensatory strategies throughout their life. As we already know children need support based on their strengths. Therefore parents must identify the child’s potential and reinforce them to grow in every way possible.

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