Characteristics of FASD

Characteristics of FASD

Primary Characteristics:

Behaviours that are felt to most clearly reflect differences in brain structure and function:

  • ›Dysmaturity, socially or developmentally younger
  • ›Slower processing speed
  • ›Impulsivity, distractibility
  • ›Memory problems
  • ›Inconsistent performance
  • ›Strengths in some areas: art, music, computer, etc.
  • ›Difficulty generalizing, forming links and making associations
  • ›Difficulty abstracting and predicting outcomes
  • ›Over and under-sensitivity to stimuli (sound, touch, visual info. Etc.)

Secondary Characteristics:

  • ›Secondary defensive behaviors develop over time when there is a “poor fit” between the abilities of the individual and what is being required (e.g. visual learner –verbal instruction; slow processor-fast paced delivery; concrete-abstract etc.)
  • ›Secondary symptoms are preventable
  • ›Examples include:
    • Frustration
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Shut down, avoidant
    • Poor self esteem
    • Isolated
    • Family problems

Tertiary Characteristics:

Tertiary characteristics result from chronic “poor fit”, anger, failure and alienations:

  • ›Trouble in school –truancy, drop out
  • ›Social services involvement
  • ›Involvement with justice
  • ›Addictions
  • ›Homelessness
  • ›Mental Health Problems