by Geoff Larcom, Published August 08, 2012
Theodore G. Coutilish, associate vice president of marketing for Eastern Michigan University, and his wife, Mary Beth Langan, were recognized with the Halstead-Bresnahan Family Award at the 13th Annual International Fragile X Conference in Miami, Fla., July 27. The award recognizes those who make a profound difference to families affected by Fragile X Syndrome.
Fragile X Syndrome is the most common known cause of inherited intellectual disability. FXS symptoms include a range from learning disabilities to more severe cognitive or intellectual disabilities. Delays in speech and language development are common, as are a variety of physical and behavioral characteristics.
FXS is also the most common known genetic cause of autism or autism spectrum disorders. FXS is caused by a "full mutation" of the FMR1 gene.
Coutilish and his wife live in the City of Grosse Pointe with their son, Andrew, who has FXS and autism.
The award was created in 1996 to honor the Halstead-Bresnahan family of Colorado, one of the founding families of the foundation. This award is given to families who have been tireless in their efforts on behalf of the Fragile X community and for dedicated and generous efforts on behalf of the National Fragile X Foundation (fragilex.org).
Previous winners who were recognized at the every-other-year conference included:
1998: Katie Clapp and Mike Tranfaglia
2000: David and Mary Beth Busby
2002: Lynda and Scott Canel
2004: Cheryl and Carey Cooper, Rebecca & Ira Fishman
2006: John Harrigan and Stephanie Jacob
2008: Margaret and Martin Israel
2010: Andrew and Tammy Selinger