Top 10 Things to say to make ANYONE understand FASD!!

So you’re in a conversation with someone about Fetal alcohol syndrome, you try to convey that message but it’s not coming out like you want it to….well not any more…I was very fortunate enough to take the FASD certificate program from the child welfare institute at the Toronto Children’s Aide Society, one of the first things our Instructor, Donna Debolt said was much of what we learn are going to be in sound bites little sentences that will have great impact when trying to help people understand the disability and to help them get treatment. If you have spent any time with me or have come to one of my trainings I use these statements all the time. So what I am going to do is give you the 10 best ones I have heard so you can use on your journey to becoming SUPER ADVOCATE. I must say though that these are general statements and not all will apply to your child just pick the best ones that you can use and start USING THEM. These are listed in no particular order.

1. Children with FASD are 10 second kids in a 1 second world.

2. People with FASD need someone to explain them to the world, and to explain the world to them.

3. They’re only as good as their last 5 min.

4.People with FASD Pass tests but fail at life. Or They can do math but can they make toast?

5.People with FASD would rather look like they’re bad then stupid.

6. If the work is not about the environment it’s not going to work.

7. People with FASD Fall apart because they can’t

8. I’m bored” translates to I don’t know what to do.

9. When we give Children with Fetal Alcohol more than they can do, that’s when we see behaviours.

10. People with FASD have the words none of the ability.

BONUS!!!!!! You can’t convince Children with FASD that their thinking is off Because their thinking is OFF.

If you use these soundbites chances are you will be able to make people stop and think. You are the best advocate for someone with FASD. Chances are you didn’t sign up for this assignment. I also believe that if your reading this you are the best person for the job; educate as many people that will listen. There is nothing better than seeing the look on people’s faces when they start to understand where you are coming from. Keep practicing and soon enough you will start to see that face more often than not. Until next time keep up the good work and remember YOU’RE NOT CRAZY!!!

Call to Action.
If you know any more Sound bites that are not listed here please leave a comment and list them so other caregivers may benefit from your knowledge.


Making Sense of the Madness: An FASD Survival Guide.

You will learn how to:

  • Increase your FASD understanding and decrease your frustration
  • Sharpen your advocacy skills and strengthen your support network
  • Be a happier, more balanced and confident FASD Caregiver


  1. I really hope number ten applies to my girl someday. For now I’ll stick with seven. Thanks for the post Jeff, keep them coming.

  2. Hey Christine,

    You are more then welcome to use this information, that’s why I created this site so it can be shared with others 🙂

  3. This is good stuff. I like it a lot. It explains the I am bored syndrome I have with my daughter. She says it at school a lot and people think she is belligerent then. I see that differently now. Thanks.

  4. Jeff – I work with two teenage girls and the amount of times I hear, “I’m bored” on one Saturday afternoon is incredible. Let’s just say if I made a one cent every time I heard that.. I would be rich!
    So, when I first started working with these girls, I thought I was being easy going and giving them some space by letting them lounge about on Saturday’s and Sunday… Boy, was I wrong! I think I must have been a camp leader in my past life because I have taken this information and we have really stepped up our Saturday’s! Thanks for the info Jeff. You really have a great way of making the information understandable. I look forward to your next blog!!!

  5. I have said repeatedly to medical providers; “Approach her(my daughter who just turned 10) as you would a TODDLER around the age of 3 or 4, talk to her as you would a 3 yr old and expect reactions that you get from a 3 yr. old. Some days we are above that level of understanding, BUT, if we approach her at that level, she isn’t stressed by being expected to ACT like a 10 yr. old, and YOU aren’t angry because she can’t act like a 10 yr. old.”
    My other “montra” is “would you expect a 3 yr. old to inter act with 10 yr. olds appropriately?” When they answer “NO”, I then reply, ” then DON’T expect her to, because that is what she is; a 3 yr. old TRAPPED in a 10 yr. old’s body.

  6. Lots of great information. I have always wondered why my now 7 year old doesn’t know how to play. His two younger brothers also FAS can lead him to play but he can not figure it out for himself. All three ages 7,5 and 2 get bored very quickly with any kind of play. They go from one thing to the next pretty quickly.. Thanks!

  7. Thank you for this! I have 3 adopted FASD kids, one is now 22, and the twins are turning 14! I think not knowing our oldest was FAS at the time was a blessing, lol. The twins have us struggling to keep ahead, and most times we aren’t.

    I am grateful that I found this page, thank you so much for the good information!

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