Parenting with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

This paper focuses on issues associated with parenting and living with FASD. It is based on a larger research and video production project that examined the challenges, accomplishments and support needs of adults with FASD in relation to parenting, employment and the legal system. Using theoretical sampling techniques, in-depth, face-to-face interviews were conducted with a total of 59 people from 5 diverse communities in British Columbia; of these, 15 were adults with (suspected) FASD. Findings presented in this article relate to parents’ hopes, goals and accomplishments, parenting challenges, experiences with the child welfare system, and perceived barriers to support, including policy-related barriers. Findings also revealed prevailing ignorance about the nature of FASD and the day-to-day support needs of those living with FASD, which potentially have profound implications from both a health and a social justice perspective. For example, parents experienced reluctance to seek assistance for their secondary disabilities related to FASD (e.g., substance use or mental health problems), for fear of that their needs for support would be viewed as evidence of their parenting incapability. Highlighted will be directions for positive policy and practice-related change in working with parents with FASD.

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Created: 2013-04-01
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