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Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder is a lifelong condition. Someone with FASD can sometimes find it difficult to make friends. This means it is important to build a safe social life for them, for example arranging activities for them that are non competitive. If possible, it is best for them to be in an environment where there are other people who understand, and are more accepting of those with learning disabilities. Building a network of people that the child or adult can turn to will be very beneficial.

Characteristics of FASD can vary at different ages. Toddlers may have hyperactivity, poor memory, lack of fear and no sense of boundaries. During the primary school years, children may be easily distracted with short attention spans and have difficulty with motor skills. Older children can have low self esteem because they may think they’re different. Finally, teenagers can have poor impulse control and be unable to distinguish public and private behaviours.

Children with FASD can have developmental delays. As an example, children with FASD can exhibit the social behaviour of a 7 or 9 year old. FASD children can become isolated as they often do not maintain relationships with peers. An early diagnosis is essential is key as it allows for early intervention. This means there is the opportunity for the appropriate and support.