Medicine: Tracing Fragile X Syndrome

Fragile X Syndrome Research links retardation and autism to an obscure gene defect

Denver Housewife Jeannie Lancaster suspected that something was wrong with her son a few months after his birth. "He was always fussy and would never cuddle," she remembers. "When I would go to pick him up, he would arch away." By the time he was one, he had acquired the alarming habit of banging his head against the wall, and when he began to talk, he repeated the same sound or word over and over again. Says Lancaster, "I kept asking myself, 'What am I doing wrong?' " Professional counselors offered conflicting views. A pediatrician thought the boy might be autistic....