Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) happens when alcohol affects the baby before birth. It lasts for their entire life and might see them develop issues growing up. This includes not understanding what you say or being unable to learn like other kids. It is a disability and sometimes it can be invisible. FASD needs to be diagnosed with a test so you can get support for yourself and your child.
Little ones with FASD might:
- become upset by loud noises, sudden movement and angry voices
- find it hard to settle or go to sleep
- find it hard to run around like other kids as they grow up
- have trouble thinking or remember things, so they need people to be patient with them
- find it hard in school and not do what you ask them to do
- find it hard to follow rules, make good choices and can end up in trouble
- have mixed up feelings and can’t think straight
- feel down and sad, worried all the time or find it hard to yarn with others
- feel alone and find it hard to connect to mob and culture.
Caregivers often report feeling under supported and misunderstood for the challenges of their family member with FASD.
If you are supporting people and families affected by FASD:
- It’s important to recognise the challenges of life can be overwhelming, and families might be unaware of what support is available. Tell families about available support services, local programs, NDIS Community Connectors and make referrals where possible.
- Encourage yarning with family, friends, leaders and teachers so all the right people know how best to offer support.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture maintains a strong belief in the connectedness of kinship and family. Involvement of families and communities is central to build trust and maintain relationships between support workers and families affected by FASD. When talking to families, consider people in their lives that might strengthen their health and wellbeing.
- Plan regular check-ups and connect with the health service to follow the person’s development. This will ensure needs for support are identified and managed as they grow.
Alcohol-free pregnancies help every baby to be Strong Born
For more information visit the Strong Born campaign website today.