Individuals with FASD often have symptoms or behavior issues that are a direct result of damage to the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that controls “executive functions.”
Executive functions of the prefrontal cortex and effects of alcohol exposure on behaviors related to executive functions:
- inhibition: socially inappropriate behavior, as if inebriated
- problem solving: inability to figure out solutions spontaneously
- sexual urges: inability to control sexual impulses, esp. in social situations
- planning: inability to apply consequences from past actions
- time perception: difficulty with abstract concepts or time and money
- internal ordering: like files out of order, difficulty processing information
- working memory: storing and/or retrieving information
- self–monitoring: needs frequent cues, requires policing by others
- verbal self–regulation: needs to talk to self out loud, needs feedback
- empathy: diminished sense of remorse, inability to understand others
- regulation of emotion: moody roller-coaster emotions, exaggerated
- motivation: need external motivators to complete menial tasks
- judgment: inability to weigh pros and cons when making decisions
For a great chart showing skill areas and descriptions at different levels check out Tri-Level Man, John Kellerman’s Levels of Ability For Self-Care and Daily Living Skills.
Thank you to Teresa and John Kellerman for sharing their story and experiences. You can find more articles and information by Teresa at Come Over To .
I also found a really great graphic from Understood.
Ready to explore more? Find out from an expert whether kids outgrow executive functioning issues. Get tips on how color-coding can help. And learn about classroom accommodations for executive functioning issues.