Grief and Loss for People with FASD

by R.J. Formanek

RJ Red Shoe Shopping in 2018


Everyone dealing with FASD in some way has had to deal with certain aspects of grief and loss, and that includes us, on the spectrum as well. It’s all part of the package.

I answered a post earlier, but wanted to share the general idea that understanding how we also deal with this might help others understand us a little better.

  • Remember getting cut from the team?
  • Remember wearing the wrong thing and everyone laughing?
  • Remember not getting the joke?
  • Remember how that feels?

Now imagine that as your everyday experience. That’s a tough place to start from… for anyone. Sometimes the dual headed beast of grief and loss can rear it’s ugly head… and this might be the time.

We, as people on the spectrum deal with a great deal of grief and loss in our lifetimes; the transition to adulthood being one of those times. The loss of dreams, of goals dashed before even having a chance to try… it adds up. It is the realization that your expectations for your own life will not be what you want.

Learning to accept that is hard.Very hard. Some people get ‘stuck’ at this point, and can only see the loss they are dealing with, and while we see anger, and resentment they are actually grieving a huge loss. The loss of future… even of the present is something we all have to deal with at some point. And it’s often during the transition phases, such as from youth to teen, or teen to adult that these huge realizations can often happen.

You do not have to deal with this alone, and someone who can counsel you about dealing with grief and loss would be my recommendation, if that is the case. The loss is real. People often do not see that. It’s real.

You can deal with it, there are ways. And there is nothing written in stone that says you can not change your own expectations at any point in your life. You can take control, and have the power to set new goals, and work to achieve them.

Success is not easy in life, but you can mindfully use this in the future to help plan your own life. New goals, new ideas.

Just a few thoughts…. RJ


R.J. Formanek created and manages the largest online Facebook group for adults with FASD: Flying With Broken Wings. R.J. is also an educator, trainer and available to present to groups.

2 thoughts on “Grief and Loss for People with FASD

  1. Ab says:

    This is such a well articulated and compelling post. It expresses everything that pains me as a parent and that I know is likely in my child’s future. But it also gives me the fuel and foresight to use this valuable knowledge and insight to help prepare my son for these moments. RJ is such a great advocate and thank YOU for sharing his message.

    Liked by 1 person

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