Response to How to Correct Behavior Related to FASD

by Dr. Lorin Bradbury

Below is a response the Delta Discovery received to an article I wrote on managing the behavior of a child with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Though it presents some disagreement with what I wrote, I believe it is worthy of consideration and provides some resources. However, I still believe you have to provide expectations for proper behavior and consequences for misbehavior if you are going to help any child interact with others in a socially appropriate manner.
Also, it’s important to note that prenatal exposure to alcohol or any other teratogenic substance doesn’t impact two children exactly the same way, so there has to be flexibility in the implementation of discipline techniques depending on the degree and type of disability. My experience has been that the Canters’ Assertive Discipline techniques that I presented in the article are a good guide for discipline of most children.
Again, I want to thank Ms. Burns for taking the time to read the article I wrote and respond to it. This is particularly impressive since it appears she is writing from the Province of Ontario. Her points are well taken and worthy of consideration. Please take time to go to her website provided and review the materials available.
Hi Dr. Bradbury,
I saw your responses to a question regarding FASD and behaviour management—a common concern among parents. Reminding parents that their child returns home from school exhausted from the emotional, sensory, social and intellectual challenge of their day is important. Setting expectations and consequences that this little exhausted body and mind can cope is discordant with what we know about the disability. A reminder that home needs to be a place of comfort after a tough day, with reduced expectations would reduce the stress this parent feels. He left school a 5-year-old and returned to her coping like a 2-year-old. Her job is to help nurture him so he can head off to school the next day in an age appropriate state of mind.
I would like to draw your attention to a resource I have developed that allows parents (and teachers and therapists) to understand the neurodevelopmental profile of an individual child to remind them and guide them toward a shift in parenting expectations and deeper insight into what this brain and this overwhelmed child needs.
Warm regards,
Sheila Burns
FASD Specialist, M. S. & Associates Inc.
Lorin L. Bradbury, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Bethel. For appointments, he can be reached at 543-3266. If you have questions that you would like Dr. Bradbury to answer in the Delta Discovery, please send them to The Delta Discovery, P.O. Box 1028, Bethel, AK 99559, or e-mail them to [email protected].