• Help parents and caregivers set realistic expectations.
    Children affected by FASD are capable of accomplishing tasks. But it may take them longer. Or they might need help throughout the process. “Think younger” is a saying when it comes to people affected by FASD. This means you try to think of what a child could accomplish at a younger age than they actually are. This can really help everyone be more realistic. For example, if a child affected by FASD is 5 years old, they could be going on 2 years old developmentally. Realistic expectations for this child might be to:

    • take naps during the day
    • follow one instruction at a time
    • be active, then sit still for 5 or 10 minutes
  • Support patience and understanding.
    FASD is a brain injury, so a child will have gaps in their memory. Work with parents and caregivers to remain calm, provide reminders, and give support to their child. Children affected by FASD can be very articulate. They often repeat back what you said and sound as though they understand. But they probably don’t or they forget quickly. So the child still needs to be offered assistance and information in clear and concise language. And everyone learns differently. Some can take direction verbally. Some learn by doing. Others need to have things written down or in pictures. Learn what works for each child and be patient.
  • Remember that children affected by FASD have many challenges, but they also have their gifts.
    They may not be great at math, but maybe they are good with animals. Help children discover their gifts—it could be art, music, acting, writing, singing, dancing, drumming, beading, sports, or a sense of humour. Offer lots of praise and encouragement in whatever they do. Find others that can help build your child’s gifts, such as traditional teachers, aunties, uncles, Elders, teachers of art, music, or dance, or martial arts instructors. Encourage your child to attend cultural programs. Click here for more ideas to support children and families affected by FASD.
Want more information about supporting children and families affected by FASD?    Check this out:

A Parent’s Guide to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Helpful tips on raising children