• Attention
  • Language
  • Adaptive Behaviors
    (life skills)
  • Reasoning
  • Memory
  • Executive Functioning
  • Regulations of Body Functions
  • Sensory Issues

This list is also a descriptor of primary disabilities. This is a summary of some of the common areas of difficulty for people with FASD. Individuals may be affected in some areas and not others. The effects range from mild to severe. The acronym ALARMERS is a useful way to remember what to pay attention to.

Attention: The individual with FASD may be distracted easily, have trouble sitting still, or be unable to focus on one thing.

Language: This person may be able to speak very well, yet may struggle with following complex instructions or understanding what is asked of them. Or, this person may also not speak well at all, use ambiguous language, and yet be very talkative, with little or no meaning (for example, “I saw the guy, with the thing, go to the place”).

Adaptive behavior (life skills): He or she may also have trouble managing their money, getting to appointments on time, or shopping for groceries without help.

Reasoning: This individual with FASD may not link cause and consequence or understand how his action leads to a certain outcome. For example, a person with FASD who does something mean to a friend may not understand why that friend is mad at them.

Memory: He or she may forget things easily, or only have trouble remembering the right information when needed, and struggle with following instructions.

Executive functioning: The individual may have difficulty regulating, controlling and managing tasks. This might include planning, remembering, paying attention, problem solving, thinking aloud, inhibiting themselves, switching tasks, as well as initiating and monitoring  actions.

Regulation of body functions: Someone with FASD may also have difficulty managing body functions such as body temperature, sleep, appetite and bowel movements.

And finally,

Sensory issues: This person may have difficulties with the way he experiences the world (what he sees, touches, tastes, hears and smells) 

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