through the Eyes of Parents

(FAS Family Resource Institute)


Parents report that toddlers with FAS/E are:

* sometimes medically fragile
* usually require high maintenance, keeping parents alert and on duty 24 hours a day
* often exhausted and irritable from uneven sleep patterns
* highly manipulative
* a danger to self and others because they do not grasp the universal laws of cause and effect
* void of the normal sequential learning abilities in reasoning, judgment and memory
* very difficult to manage when out in public
* no natural fear of danger, e.g., lacking in the normal abilities to distinguish between friend and enemy
* misunderstood by service providers because their IQs appear to be developing normally


Parents report that children with FAS/E are:

* impulsive, unpredictable and mischievous, creating ongoing safety hazards, such as setting fires and running away
* often exhausted and irritable from uneven sleep patterns
* innately skilled in manipulative tactics
* void of normal sense of justice
* overlooked as permanently disabled because their IQs are normal
* desperate for stimulation and excitement to keep them entertained and happy
* emotionally volatile and often exhibit wide mood swings throughout the day
* often disconnected from their own feelings and are unable to identify or express logical reasons behind their volatile outbursts
* isolated and lonely because the desire to be included remains intact while the reasoning skill to figure out why they are excluded is lacking
* angry and resentful toward more structure and supervision than their peers need
* void of natural empathy for others


Parents report that adolescents with FAS/E are:

* moral chameleons (despite consistent loving care, family values and even general rules of social behavior are not being internalized)
* often exhausted and irritable from uneven sleep pattern
* at high risk for being drawn into anti-social behavior: stealing, lying, running away, etc.
* continuing to be a safety menace to themselves and others
* still in need of limits and protection like a three year old
* often obsessed by primal impulses such as sexual activity and fire setting
* able to recognize and will submit to raw power, making them vulnerable to gangs.
* seriously impaired when it comes to making decisions (not having the judgment or reasoning skills to make decisions)
* terrified of major transition or change, e.g., middle school, moving, etc.
* extremely vulnerable to ideas in movies, videos, music, TV and advertisements
* unaware of normal hygiene needs
* unable to take responsibility for their actions

ADULTS (18 and over)

Parents report that their adult children with FAS/E are:

* moral chameleons
* often exhausted and irritable from uneven sleep patterns
* extremely vulnerable to anti-social behavior and at great risk for finding the structure and supervision they need in the criminal justice system
* unlikely to follow safety rules concerning fire hazards, safe meal preparation, vehicle operation, infectious diseases, basic life needs, etc.
* notably lacking in the ability to manage money
* volatile if pushed too far to do something they see as unreasonable, such as asking them for money to pay their rent or groceries.
* quite vulnerable to co-dependent relationships, which can turn violent
* incapable of taking daily medication or birth control pills on a regular and effective basis
* vulnerable to panic attacks, depression, suicide ideation, mental and emotional overload, and sometimes psychotic breaks
* very impaired as to entertaining themselves and keeping out of mischief
* not nearly as capable as they appear to be
* in desperate need of appropriate sheltered employment opportunities

Note: These characteristics may appear to be typical behavior in a normal person, but in individuals who have been disabled by prenatal exposure to alcohol, these traits occur in grossly exaggerated form and do not respond to typical interventions.

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