Today is FX Friday! Since it is Hallowe’en I thought I would focus on something that affects folks with Fragile X – Anxiety.
How is that related to Hallowe’en? Well, all the costumes, masks & decorations make my son extremely anxious, so that’s the connection.
Anxiety can be such a deal-breaker to get out and enjoy the world. If you are too worked up, how do you learn, experience new things or communicate with others?
Anxiety is reported both by those carrying the full mutation of the Fragile X gene & those who are carriers. Interesting, isn’t it? Normally we think of a carrier as one who doesn’t experience any of the effects of the gene they have. But, in Fragile X, carriers can have all kinds of issues too.
I know that medication is often used to control anxiety with great success. We haven’t taken that step with Nathan as he seems to be managing his anxiety much better as his ability to communicate increases. For that, I am profoundly grateful. The ways we have helped him to cope are: slow exposure to things that worry him (crowds, masks, noise), allowing him to choose an escape spot without shame, reassurance & staying with him as he takes a chance and tries a situation that we know makes him anxious.
But, even with all of that, I cannot convince that child that candles are okay. He turns absolutely green, cries, runs away & has even vomited. Yeah, that’s real nice, on his birthday too. (fortunately, not on the cake) He cried again this morning for the pumpkin candle & will not even look at the jack-o-lantern.
So, we don’t have it licked yet. But, I want to encourage two things today. First, anxiety is real. Get help or get your child help. Second, Fragile X is real. Learn more about it & spread the word.