50 Facts about FASD

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  1. FASD = fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
  2. FASDs impact 2-5% of the population. 
  3. 99% of people with an FASD are undiagnosed.
  4. FASD is an invisible, PHYSICAL disability.
  5. FASD includes primary and secondary characteristics.
  6. Diagnosis AND Understanding prevent poor outcomes.
  7. We accommodate the brain differences caused by FASD.
  8. Slower processing speed is a primary characteristic of FASD.
  9. Executive functioning difficulties are a primary characteristic of FASD.
  10. Sensory differences are a primary characteristic of FASD.
  11. Up days and down days are common for people with FASDs.
  12. Perseveration is a common difficulty for people with an FASD.
  13. Change the environment (not the person.)
  14. Confabulation is not lying.
  15. Involvement with Developmental Disability Services helps prevent poor outcomes, yet a diagnosis on the FASD spectrum does not qualify a person for involvement with DDS.
  16. Developmental dysmaturity is a primary characteristic of FASD.
  17. Impulsivity is a symptom of FASD.
  18. Problems with memory are a primary characteristic of FASD.
  19. People with FASDs and their families need FASD informed support systems.
  20. FASD-informed support adapts to client needs.
  21. A primary characteristic of FASD is difficulty with abstraction.
  22. Visual-spatial deficits are a primary characteristic of FASD.
  23. The average life expectancy of people with FASDs is 34 years old
  24. Difficulty with emotional regulation is a primary characteristic of FASD.
  25. Differing needs around nutrition and food are a common symptom for people with FASDs.
  26. A strengths-based approach is the best way to help people with FASDs.
  27. People with FASD are much more than their differences.
  28. Children with FASDs grow up to be adults with FASDs…and a lot of other things!
  29. Families impacted by FASD recognize amazing qualities in their loved ones.
  30. Multiple, systems-level barriers are in place that prevent better understanding for people impacted by FASDs.
  31. Facial features dysmorphology is the commonly recognized symptom of FASD, yet it occurs in a minority of individuals with FASD. This creates a barrier to diagnosis, supports, and services.
  32. Caregivers of people with FASDs experience high levels of stress and burnout.
  33. Shame and stigma around alcohol use during pregnancy is a barrier to care for people living with FASDs.
  34. Myths like “nothing works for people with FASDs” create barriers to care.
  35. Seeing FASD as “just” a behavior problem prevents access to appropriate supports.
  36. Everyone connected to a person with an FASD needs to be FASD informed.
  37. Myths about the women who give birth to children with FASD prevent awareness, proper diagnosis, and support for people with FASDS.
  38. Many behavioral symptoms of FASD are due to a combination of differing brain functions.
  39. How FASD happens and what alcohol exposure does to the developing brain is well documented.
  40. The brains of people with FASD are less “plastic’ than the brains of neurotypical people.
  41. FASD is not a mental illness.
  42. People with FASD are at risk for victimization, scapegoating, and false confessions.
  43. Lack of caregiver support impacts FASD awareness and advocacy.
  44. FASD is a spectrum disorder.
  45. Shifting from won’t to can’t is a crucial change for people and families impacted by FASDs.
  46. Always think brain.
  47. Millions of people are living with FASD.
  48. There is no known “cure” for FASD.
  49. There is no evidence that consequence based behavioral modification works to change behavioral symptoms of FASD.
  50. People with FASDs want you to know…