by Kathy Cannon Wiechman
The X chromosome makes us female. XX is a girl; XY is a boy. That’s basically all I remembered from biology class about chromosomes.
But I learned a great deal more about that X after my grandson was diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome (FXS). It seems that a mutation of that X chromosome causes this syndrome, and it’s genetic.
FXS is a “spectrum” disorder that can cause speech problems, learning disabilities, extreme shyness, sensory issues, hand flapping, autism, and severe mental retardation. It can be detected with a blood test, and our family lined up to be tested after our grandson’s diagnosis.
I don’t carry it, but my husband does. Both my daughters carry it, but not my sons. (It can’t be passed father-to-son because it’s an X chromosome.) All three of my grandchildren have it, and they exhibit different degrees of “special needs.”
|Kathy with her grandchildren|
We have learned a great deal about genetics, but we’ve learned even more about love and “specialness” from our grandkids.
A nun friend once told me that “God gives special children to special people.” I am proud of the mothers my daughters have become, and I feel blessed to be part of this wonderful family.
To learn more about Fragile X, go here.