Day 34 of 99 Days to FASDay and today’s myth is about FASD being a trend. I don’t know about you, but this is not a “trend” I would wish on anyone. Why do people feel this way? I always say, unless you live the life an individual with FASD does, or the lives parents and caregivers live, you have no business making judgments. Science has proven FASD is real. Those that live with FASD know it is real.
I encourage you to search this site for posts tagged FASD is Real, the 2016 Red Shoes Rock Awareness Campaign (the website link is no longer valid). You can’t tell these individuals their FASD isn’t real.
The maiden did receive an ADHD and ODD diagnosis when she was young – so I know this to be a fact that misdiagnosis does occur. Remember when ADHD was a trendy condition?
However, we know stigma has a lot to do not getting a diagnosis as well as misdiagnosis. Money as well. I have heard people tell me their doctor provided a different diagnosis because there are supports for other groups as opposed to FASD. I have heard people say their doctor does not believe a child has FASD without facial features. Hopefully as science evolves, we will be able to more accurately diagnose FASD.
This was from an article: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Sometimes Misdiagnosed and Under-Reported Due To Stigmas Around Drinking
“It’s very important for the research and clinical community to understand how prevalent FASD is. Once you’re more aware, there’s a chance, in the clinical setting, that you will diagnose it more frequently and accurately or at least ask about alcohol exposure,” says Weinberg, “You might be able to help these kids and their families more effectively.”
Unfortunately, just like mental health issues, Weinberg says there is a stigma around alcohol use that can get in the way of recognizing FASD.
“With a condition like autism or diabetes it’s clearly seen as nobody’s fault. Families have support networks and advocacy. But with FASD there’s a societal stigma; that may be part of why it’s not as well publicized or understood.”
Weinberg says for some medical practitioners, alcohol consumption is an uncomfortable topic and is sometimes avoided when speaking with pregnant women or new parents. This can have consequences.
“These children deserve the same support and services as any other child with a neuro-development disability—and sometimes it’s not forthcoming.”
There are many overlapping behaviours and characteristics between FASD and others, so one can see why it often gets misdiagnosed. The trouble is however, that most interventions for other disorders or conditions do not work for someone with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
As time goes on, hopefully we will see more acceptance and less denial.
Thanks to the FASD Network of Southern California for this myth and the next week of Myths and Facts we will be bringing to you!