Posted by & filed under CCTV's THE VIBRANT GENE talk show, Genetics as Preventative Care, Prenatal Genetic Testing, Rare Disease, Vibrant Gene.

As a genetic counselor who focuses on preventative care, I am asked regularly about autism.  What causes autism?  How can I get screened for autism?  Am I at risk of having a baby with autism?  Autism is considered a complex condition, with a myriad of possible risk factors.  However, there is one exception; the most common form of heritable autism is caused by an error found in a single gene.


In this epsiode of the VIBRANT GENE, we will ask pertinent questions of our esteemed guest, Katie Clapp, the co-founder of FRAXA. Tune in to find out:

What is Fragile X syndrome?  Should this condition be screened for in newborns?  What research is FRAXA funding?  How close are researchers to finding treatments and/or a cure for autism?  Can current research help people who have Fragile X or autism?



About Our Guest:

Katie Andy horses

Katie Clapp, MS, is the President and Co-Founder of FRAXA.  In 1994, after her son Andy was diagnosed with Fragile X, Katie, her husband Michael Tranfaglia, and a third parent, Kathy May, founded FRAXA. Katie has a BA in History from Harvard and a Masters degree in Computer Science from UNC Chapel Hill. She worked as a software engineer and instructor in computer science before FRAXA. She has won some prizes for her work with FRAXA, including an American Red Cross Community Hero award and a Women of Justice award from Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.


About Our Show’s Producer and Host:

Pro Pic 2015

Kayla M. Sheets is a board-certified, licensed genetic counselor and founder of Vibrant Gene Consulting, a concierge practice located in Cambridge Massachusetts.  Kayla is specialized in taking genetic insights and translating them into greater health and wellbeing for her clients.  She also provides expert advice about parental DNA testing to confirm relationships when traditional tests fail.


This show is dedicated to Leo, Olga and to other families who have children with Fragile X.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for inspiring this show.


Our Show was Made Possible by:

Hayley Green (assistant producer), Ya Gao (editor) and Sherry Wang (CCTV technical production).

For Private Genetic Counseling about autism, contact us via email ( or phone at (617) 433-7874.