Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
FASD describes the range of disabilities and diagnoses that result from drinking alcohol during pregnancy. No amount of alcohol during pregnancy is considered safe.
- FASD is a brain injury and referred to as ‘invisible’ as we cannot see the disability
- Consider a child’s developmental age not actual age – expectations need to match the developmental age.
- FASD is a “Disability of Thinking”. Create thinking-free days with routines, repetition, and consistency.
- It is NOT that children with FASD WON’T, it is because they CAN’T.
- Encourage supported independence – Make getting help or receiving support a ‘good thing’.
When things are not working – step back, reduce expectations, increase supports, and focus on your child’s strengths.
FASD is among the leading causes of cognitive and developmental disability among children in Canada. FASD can affect individuals of all races, ages, cultures, classes, genders and sexualities. Children and youth with FASD often appear more capable than they are, and often, are unlikely to recognize their own strengths/needs
Children and youth living with FASD are more likely to have mental health issues, substance use and other health, social and behavioural problems, disrupted school experiences, and be in conflict with the law. These cause stress and emotional distress for the individual and their families and caregivers.
Supports for Children, Youth and their Families
Contact Brant provides Service Coordination supports to families of children and youth living with FASD, or potentially affected by FASD.
- Provide information on FASD and help connect to relevant services and other community supports/resources
- Develop a service plan
- Provide education to parents and professionals about FASD
• Children and youth up to the age of 18, or between 18 and 21 who remain in school.
• Children and youth with a formal diagnosis or FASD or with suspected FASD/FASD-like symptoms
Woodview Mental Health and Autism Services offers Camp Unity every summer for children and youth with FASD or symptoms like FASD. Call Contact Brant for information at 519-758-8228.
More Information on FASD
Behaviour Management is described on the Alliance Youth Resources website:
- Traditional behaviour management interventions often do not work
- Individuals with FASD do not always learn from consequences
- It is more effective to prevent behaviour from occurring than to react to it
- Structure, environmental accommodations and supervision are significant contributors to improved functioning and successful outcomes
- Advocates can help those with FASD maintain emotional control in trying situations
- All non-compliance should be viewed through a lens of non-competence
- We should teach functional skills at every opportunity
- Sensory and physical issues as a result of FASD may impact behaviour and should be recognized
- IQ scores should not be used as a predictor of capabilities
- Individuals with FASD are often unable to ask for help
Learning Opportunities about FASD