The Brain & FASD

It wasn’t until our son received his FASD diagnosis that we began to understand that he has an invisible physical disability that impacts every moment of his life. We felt bad that we didn’t understand him properly up to that point.  Had he been missing a limb or if he were deaf, we would have taken immediate steps to address the physical need. But because we could not see that damage was done to his brain when he was in utero, we took too many long years to begin to understand that like a blind person, he too needs accomodation and support. There is much we still don’t know and every child is different. But we walk forward in faith that the brain and its complicated neural networks are miraculous. If our son’s brain is not able to send signals the usual way, we hope to feed the other pathways, through other senses and through other triggers. We seek to create a positive learning experience for him. We hope he will continue to grow in the knowledge that we do not blame him for whatever damage was done inside his head before he took his first breath. We hope he knows we will always try to help him better understand what works for hm and what support he needs to get through his day. We believe this knowledge one day may save his life.

FASD is a Disability Not a Behavior Issue

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3 thoughts on “The Brain & FASD

  1. An example of a chaotic system is the brain [a complex system ] that was exposed to the ubiquitous effects of prenatal alcohol.
    The human brain is the most complex system known [on earth]. The developing brain that is exposed to prenatal alcohol becomes a complex chaotic system. Because of the interactive complexity of the brain there is no part of the developing brain that is not affected by prenatal alcohol exposure, either directly or indirectly. It is recognized that the effect of prenatal alcohol on the developing brain varies according to the amount consumed, the fetal level of the alcohol, the length of time of the exposure, the speed with which the alcohol is consumed, the time and frequency that the alcohol is consumed in the pregnancy, the nature and health of the placenta, the state of nutrition of the mother, the age of the mother and the epigenetic affect of alcohol on the sperm and oocyte. These many factors, together with the complexity of the developing brain, ensure that no two affected individuals will be identical in their disabilities. Barry Stanley

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your informative comment and for the good work you do to help others better understand this disability. This complexity and the differences in each person who is affected adds to the challenges of finding the best way forward. The first step of viewing the behaviors as symptoms of the underlying brain injury can be transformative.

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