The Proper Support


    “Donna Debolt and Mary Berube, social workers specializing in FASD, have developed a simple document outlining the needs of families living with affected children…


    Key things that the unaffected adult needs are

·   Ongoing education about FASD in order to learn caregiving strategies and understand the behaviors of children affected by prenatal alcohol;

·   Support before and through her child’s diagnosis, and ongoing support afterward;

·   Therapy for grieving and loss;

·   Connections with other caregivers;

·   A case manager;

·   [and my favorite]: respite even when not asked for…


    Debolt and Berube also outline the needs of children with FASD – support they rarely receive, support that all of us should be fighting for.  They need

·   Early diagnosis of FASD, followed by assessment of strengths and limitations;

·   A protected environment, increased supervision, and structure…;

·   A supportive family who understand their disabilities, and a management team, which could include professionals in medicine, speech/language, education, skill building, and behavior management focused on prevention of behaviors (We can’t change the child; we have to figure out a way to change the environment.”


Excerpted from Bonnie Buxton, “Damaged Angels”