Understanding Your New FASD Diagnosis
Learning about FASD and understanding the reasons for behaviors can help you as a parent/caregiver to understand that while a behavior may appear to be defiant or willful, it may stem from significant but largely invisible brain deficits. As a parent/caregiver it can help move from frustration and blaming yourself or your child to being positive and proactive in your approach with your child. This will also help others that work with your child to understand their diagnosis.
What is FASD?
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a medical condition caused by prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) that consists of a wide range of potential symptoms including physical, behavioral, mental, cognitive symptoms and learning disabilities.
The brain injury caused by PAE is permanent and may cause lifelong challenges. Children or an individual with FASD can certainly grow, learn, and build skills, but it is important to remember that many of the behaviors and learning problems that they have are the result of brain injury that will not change. Changing your approach will allow for more success in their lives.
Diagnoses on the spectrum of fetal alcohol disorders include:
fetal alcohol syndrome
Partial fetal alcohol syndrome
Alcohol related neurodevelopmental disorder
Alcohol related birth fefects
Fetal alcohol effects (outdated term)
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
Neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure
Individuals With an FASD Are All Unique
Individuals with an FASD are all unique and have different strengths, weaknesses, talents, and interests but they have one thing in common: prenatal exposure to alcohol has affected their development and due to cognitive deficits and behavioral problems resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure are lifelong. Your provider may refer you to someone who knows about FASD such as a developmental pediatrician, child psychologist or clinical geneticist. This will be the beginning of building your support network.
*(insert factsheets Understanding the behaviors of FASD Diagnosis and a link to the calendar for HIH series schedule)