FASD throughout the life course


US National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (www.nofas.org/living-with-fasd/) provides the following summary of the FASD manifestations across the life course:

  • Infants: low birth weight; irritability; sensitivity to light, noises and touch; poor sucking; slow development; poor sleep-wake cycles; increased ear infections.
  •  Toddlers: poor memory capability, hyperactivity, lack of fear, no sense of boundaries and a need for excessive physical contact.
  • Grade-school years: short attention span, poor coordination and difficulty with both fine and gross motor skills.
  •  Older children: trouble keeping up with school, low self-esteem from recognizing they are different from their peers.
  • Teenagers: poor impulse control, cannot distinguish between public and private behaviors, must be reminded of concepts on a daily basis.
  • Adults: need to deal with many daily obstacles, such as affordable and appropriate housing, transportation, employment and money handling.

Thank you Anna for your posting. This is useful information. I have personally worked with several adolescents and adults who have experienced many of the challenges you have listed. Self esteem is a major issue, as their school experience can be a constant source of frustration and failure. Particularly for those who have not been diagnosed or have been misdiagnosed.

This issue is a cross generational problem and one that requires support throughout the lifespan.

Another helpful site for learning about FASD across the lifespan is KnowFASD.ca. It's useful for kids, parents, educators and others.