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photo Fragile X Family
By Eric Kutner

Fragile X Syndrome is an inheritable sex-linked chromosomal disorder, and the second most common cause of mental retardation. This documentary takes viewers inside the life of a developmentally disabled woman who is struggling to raise three children who also have the syndrome. Mikey is severely retarded and has autism; unable to speak or care for himself, he requires constant supervision. The oldest, Franky, is on medication and struggles for maturity, but sometimes cannot control his anger. Amy, the youngest child, is charming, but hyperactive and a bit of a troublemaker.

With the help of local social services workers, Minerva is able to live independently and to obtain the educational services the children need. But when Amy sparks a neighborhood conflict and Franky goes to her defense, Minerva's parenting skills are put to the test.

Fragile X Family will help healthcare and social service students and professionals to understand the challenges — but also the strengths — of such families, and to think about the kinds of supports which may be helpful to them. The program provides a raw look at the family's struggles, but it is ultimately a hopeful film about love transcending disabilities.

11 minutes
© 2004
Purchase $149 DVD
Order No. QA-414
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-921-5

"Appropriate for social service professionals and educators in the area of mental retardation." Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling

Awards & Conference Screenings
Achievement Award, Superfest
Sprout Film Festival
Honorable Mention, Rochester Film Festival
Reel Life, Disability Film Festival

Related Films
Mayor of the West Side: What happens when love gets in the way of letting go? As a teenager with multiple disabilities prepares for his Bar Mitzvah, his family and community consider what Mark's life will be like when they are no longer able to protect him.

Mothers of Courage: Bethany has multiple physical and developmental disabilities. Like thousands of dedicated parents, her mother has had to fight for years to get Bethany the medical and social services she needs.

A Culture Undiscovered: Explores the needs and experiences of college students, from diverse racial and/or ethnic backgrounds, who have learning disabilities.

A Mind of Your Own: It's been estimated that every classroom has two or three kids with learning disabilities. This video profiles four courageous kids who don't let learning difficulties hold them back or get them down.

Raymond's Portrait: This video introduces viewers to a remarkable young man born with Down syndrome and it is a powerful example of what can happen when a child is encouraged to develop to his full potential, regardless of others perceptions about his abilities. DVD version has both closed-captions and audio description.


Awards & Screenings

Related Films

Study Guide

Web Resources

To rent or purchase this film, please visit the Icarus Films website