FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) is an insidious and pervasive problem in today’s society.
And there really isn’t a cure for it.
FASD is an umbrella term which describes a continuum of permanent birth defects caused by maternal consumption of alcohol during pregnancy.
FASD is rated based on a list of approximately eleven different markers that they look for when trying to diagnose. These range from physical characteristics to cognitive and behavioural issues. It is a long and exhausting process to go through.
FASD is characterized by a lack of boundaries, poor sleep habits, self-soothing, appetite ‘weirdness’, inappropriate behavior, rage and temper tantrums, just to name a few. Academic learning is difficult for the person with FASD. Part of the disorder is that there are, in effect, black holes in their brains that swallow information. New neural pathways need to be established so that information is not lost, this can be done but it is a long, difficult and wearying process.
There is a broad range in the spectrum and a broad range in diagnosis.
At the lighter end of things a child affected by FASD may have some distinguishing physical characteristics and some issues with learning and maybe behavior. On the heavier end you are dealing with sleep pattern problems, eating/appetite problems, self-destructive behavior, outwardly destructive behavior, huge learning issues and a multitude of other problems.
For the parent of a child with FASD it may feel a little like banging your head against the wall to try and get anything in that will stick. You may say, “Go get the crackers out of the cupboard.” They may only put the words ‘go’ and ‘cupboard’ together and who knows where that may lead!
FASD rarely walks alone and is often accompanied by ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities, and other emotional issues.
You link FASD with RAD and things might look a little like Grace’s story…
**If you are new here you might want to know that this post is part of a series on hidden disabilities. I am going to be continuing this series for all of October as part of the 31 Days Challenge. You can see all of the amazing topics over at The Nester’s! To go back to the beginning of this series click on the Alphabet Soup tab and you can see the indexed list of chapters.