Early Recognition of developmental disorders

What is the Fragile X Syndrome (FXS)? Which behavioural abnormalities accompany the developmental disorder? How can it be diagnosed earlier?

Fragile X Syndrome, development, education

The project overview

Area of Science: Medicine and Health
Location: Graz and surrounding area
Used Devices: without PC/Mobile
Equipment of citizen scientists: Nothing
Activities of citizen scientists: observing, analysing
Suitable for: Adults
Project duration: 01.09.2016 - 31.08.2018
Time to join in: 01.05.2017 - 30.06.2017

Project objective

The developmental disorder “Fragile X Syndrome (FXS)” is characterised by a great number of (neurological) behavioural abnormalities, e.g. in the areas of social interaction, communicative abilities or fine and gross motor skills. Currently the children’s average age at which the disorder is diagnosed is approximately three years.

The research project endeavours to characterise the early clinical manifestations of FXS better and to identify early atypical symptoms in children during the first two years of their lives.

How to participate?

The project invites kindergarten and nursery teachers to watch video clips of children and to analyse them with the help of the questionnaire provided: Does the child behave strangely when it comes to social contacts? Does the child appear to be unusually inattentive? Does the child react when you call him/her? Does he/she have an unusual playing behaviour? Can the child accomplish assignments that require fine motor skills, e.g. open a box?

What happens to the contributions of citizen scientists?

Their experience in working with children will help them to identify possible signs of the “Fragile X Syndrome” in the first two years of the children’s lives and to describe them better. This could contribute to the fact that genetic examinations are arranged earlier, the disease is diagnosed earlier and therapies are started earlier.

Prizes and winners

The prize money is given to kindergartens and nurseries. For the first prize a prize money of € 1,000.-- is offered; the one coming in second place will get € 750.-- and the one coming in third place will get € 500.--.

The winners are chosen according to the following criteria:

1) Number of participating citizen scientists in relation to the institution’s size
2) “Multiplier effect” (soliciting of other institutions)
3) Correct classification rate

Participating and supporting institutions


Mag. Iris Tomantschger

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