Diagnosis of fragile-X syndrome: the experiences of parents


BarbaraCarmichael Mothercare Unit of Clinical Genetics, Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK


In order to assess some aspects of the quality of care for families seeking the cause of their child(ren)s intellectual disability, a postal questionnaire was sent to parents of children with fragile-X syndrome, who were members of the UK Fragile-X Society. Although the interval taken to get a diagnosis (‘lagtime’) has fallen over time, other aspects of care could still be improved. Most families feel that having a diagnosis is an advantage, but many still find the diagnostic process distressing and feel unsupported. Not all families are referred for genetic counselling, and even those who are do not always understand or retain the information given. Most families feel that having a diagnosis is a benefit rather than a disadvantage.