Primary: Direct brain damage that a person is born with. The student cannot control these neurodevelopmental behavioural characteristics.
Secondary: Characteristics that emerge as a result of not addressing the primary characteristics effectively. They are caused by a poor fit between expectations and the environment.
Tertiary: Characteristics that develop as a result of not addressing the secondary characteristics (e.g., difficulty with the family, the community, school and legal system because the student has had so much trouble with school). These effects tend to be complex, costly and challenging to manage.
Think can’t not won’t and brain-damaged not bad. Don’t be misled into thinking these behaviours are wilful because:
|When a student with FASD…||You are seeing brain damage…|
|Won’t Cooperate||Doesn’t know what to do next, can’t sequence|
|Won’t learn from experiences||Forgets, didn’t learn the first time|
|Seems very lazy||Is exhausted from trying|
|Lies a lot (Confabulates)||Makes up stories, forgot what really happened|
|Is Not Sorry or Contrite||Doesn’t understand hurting others|
|Is Rude / Doesn’t Appear to Care||Feeling defensive, hurt, frustrated, overwhelmed|
|‘Talks the talk, but can’t walk the walk’||Is showing poor Receptive Language|
|Steals||Does not understand ownership, boundaries|
|Acts younger than their chronological age||Is Dysmature – E.g. functionally 8 at 16 years|