Many people do not have a diagnosis but you, as a professional, can be alert to behaviours and actions that may indicate the existence of FASD.

  • Memory may be erratic:  yesterday or last month may or may not be remembered
  • Will try to fill in memory gaps with other information that may be true or not
  • Sometimes repeating (using the same vocabulary) or repeating the actions over, and over, and over, may allow the individual to put the information into their memory and retrieve it when needed.
  • Things and events are seen in “black and white” thinking, there is no “grey”
  • May struggle to make decisions and may also not understand the outcomes of the decision
  • May not be able to grasp the concept of “responsibility” and therefore not be able to take responsibility for the actions/decision.
Social Skills:
  • Struggle to read body language and social cues
  • May have different boundaries (i.e. taking things that do not belong to them, crossing into personal space)
Time and Place:
  • May become frustrated or upset when routines are altered (i.e. changing work times, coffee times, daily routines)
  • May not understand today, yesterday, tomorrow or before and after
  • May be able to read a clock, but not grasp the passage of time
  • May talk a lot, but say very little
  • May fill in memory gaps with creative stories – may not make sense
  • Often take things literally and not understand the abstract meanings (i.e. you say that you’re backed into a corner but they see you sitting at your desk).