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Fragile X Family Story

Brayson Thibodeaux's parents and grandparents suspected there was something wrong with the 15-month-old boy as he wasn't yet walking, and as Scientific American Mind reports, that suspicion led them to a genetic test that revealed that fragile X syndrome had been affecting the family for generations, though in different ways.

Brayson was diagnosed with fragile X syndrome, though whether his younger brother Bowen also has the conditions isn't yet known. While Bowen exhibits some of the signs of the disorder, at age one, he can crawl and says 'mama' and 'dada,' which his brother could not do at that age, according to Scientific American Mind. One test suggests Bowen has fragile X syndrome, but the family is seeking follow-up testing.

The syndrome and its related conditions could also account for some other family members' traits. For instance, Brayson and Bowen's mother, Alyssa Shubert, had previously been diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety, and endometriosis, all of which could be tied to her being a full or pre-mutation carrier.

Similarly, her mother, Chrystie Shubert, has also dealt with reproductive issues and is a likely carrier, and her aunt, Michele Hanson, has fragile X–associated primary ovarian insufficiency.

Further, her grandmother Cheryl Davidson, who hasn't been tested, suspects that one of her siblings may have had fragile X–associated tremor/ataxia syndrome and found that a number of her cousins are fragile X carriers.

"It's a very tough situation, dealing with fragile X," Alyssa Shubert says. "But if you have good support — which I do, I have my entire family on my side and fighting with me every day — you can get through it easier."