Feelings and Emotions

Individuals with FASD may struggle to manage with their own emotions and understanding how their emotions are affecting them, across all ages. They also may have trouble recognizing, understanding, and responding in an acceptable way to the feelings of others. For example, they may not know the difference between an excited voice and an angry voice. Individuals with FASD may be more vulnerable to the impact of stress, which can lead to strong emotional reactions of anger, withdrawal, and/or avoidance. Mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, as well as sleep problems such as nightmares, and increased irritability are more common for individuals with FASD.

If an individual can learn to identify, understand, and manage their feelings and emotions - or those of someone else - they may act out less. This might reduce confusion, anger, and fear. With the correct intervention, their skills in behaviour, communication and social functioning may improve.

Once an individual recognizeS their own emotions, they might become able to communicate their needs. They may also get better calming themselves down or livening themselves up.

If they can begin to understand the emotions of others, they may realize that their actions can influence another person. Someone with FASD may be able to pick up on social cues about another persons feelings, causing them to act more appropriately in social situations.


Medication Management in FASD
Video webinar with handouts by Dr.David Shih: Contains information on steps to take before using medications, medication for treating insomnia, aggression, anxiety disorders, ADHD and mood disorders in FASD as well as what these medications can and cannot do (from FASD CMC Alberta)

Teaching Students with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Building Strengths, Creating Hope (Programming for Students with Special Needs: Book 10)
Overview of FASD; Concepts for teaching and strategies to help with learning needs (from Alberta Education. Written by Chandra D. Zieff, M.Ed. and Rochelle D. Schwartz-Bloom, Ph.D.)
Emotional difficulties (behavioural regulation): p. 81-82

Brief guidelines for caregivers supporting persons who are emotionally fragile
Written by Nathan E. Ory, M.A.- Practical information for caregivers to maintain control when working with individuals who are emotionally fragile, working through change or crisis and are exhibiting testing behaviour (from POPFASD)


The Alert Program
A program for teaching self regulation to children with disabilities

Emotions and Feelings
Emotions and Feelings picture cards for individuals with special needs (from Do2Learn)