90 Real People. Real Lives – Red Shoes Rock International Relay
Guest Blogger Ann Yurcek
Visit her blog at Parenting Complex Children
Day 10 Ten Things You Need to Know
About FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders)
- People with FASD have challenges due to no fault of their own. They are innocent victims of Prenatal Alcohol exposure.
- FASD is complicated and no two people are alike. Prenatal alcohol exposure can cause damage to any system of the body. In recent medical literature there were found to be over 400 different diagnoses and problems are associated with FAS.
- Most of the time FASD is invisible. People with FASD can look normal, but struggle with normal. Only 1 out of 10 will have the visible physical characteristics associated with prenatal alcohol exposure.
- Most people with FASD will have a normal intelligence. Some will have high intellect and still struggle. The majority will need a circle of external support for their lifetimes.
- You cannot outgrow FASD. It is permanent and a life-long condition. There is no cure. It is a struggle to find diagnosis, supports and help as there is no disability category where they fit in. Finding early diagnosis and intervention can help mitigate secondary mental health challenges.
- People with FASD can have memory and processing challenges, motor control, auditory, visual and sensory processing issues. It is important to realize that their world is different from ours.
- The brain is complex. Just because someone with FASD can say it, doesn’t mean its understood. Just because they can tell you what to do, doesn’t mean they can actually put it into practice. They may need help with cognitive translation. Often times it is not they won’t do it, they may need a different way to be able to achieve it.
- We must think beyond chronological age and meet them at their developmental, social and emotional stages with respect.
- Persons with FASD just want to be understood, cared for, included and most of all loved like everyone else.
- It’s 100% preventable. It is the number one cause of prenatal brain injury and lifelong learning challenges.
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** Thank you to all the parents and caregivers at Parenting FASD Kids for helping me brainstorm this list! You are all experts, loving and living with your loved ones with FASD.