The FASD Trust

Do the behavioural problems associated with FASD always exhibit themselves or can they show in cycles?

Our son is now 7.5 years and has always had cyclical behaviours from age 3 these have become more pronounced and fit most criteria of FASD (but not the physical characteristics.) Birth mum was young and absent from care a lot during pregnancy and we know drink and drugs were a feature we can only guess it was more binge drinking.

He was recently prescribed Ritalin that was for Complex ADHD with sensory perception disorder and possibly attachment issues. Ritalin helped focus and impulsive reactions and behaviours but reduced his personality and had bad reactions coming down. He was on very low dose and could not tolerate slow release meds. Paediatrician assures me that his responses to meds indicate ADHD with possible FASD .

If it were FASD would it respond to meds and would it present in a cyclical way? I mean several bad months/ weeks and a few great days or weeks where we think there are very few problems and are being paranoid!

3 Replies

Hi. My 4 year old son has the same good days/weeks and very bad days/weeks. At times I have felt paranoid its nothing as bad as FASD and maybe mild attachment issues. But birth mom drank alcohol heavily during pregnancy and he does have some mild facial features.... But would he have looked like that anyway.... Paranoia and second guessing again!! We are in mid assessment with psychologists, geneticists etc but nobody wants to commit to a diagnosis yet as he's "too complicated"!! And "there's so much to unpick"!! I have started to keep a diary if my sons behaviours/ hyperness/impulsivity/controlling and oppositional behaviour etc etc. he is definitely better on days with a very predictable routine, days he feels safe and secure and days when he has no extra demands on him, days when he does not have to deal with sensory overload. This is maybe why they have their good bouts and bad bouts?? Like your son, my son appears to display ADHD and SPD issues but given the prenatal exposure to alcohol I feel FASD is the obvious diagnosis and whether medication in the future is offered I'm not sure but I have read that meds for ADHD are different to meds for FASD and actually behaviour management strategies work best. I probably haven't answered your questions but I hope that knowing you're not the only one going through it helps somewhat?!?! Wish you all thievery best, its no easy job raising a child with FASD but we do it because we love them so much x


Thanks BIFFY for replying. yes it does help. Think I will trackdown local support group to discuss.Am trying to get son an assessment in attachment therapy centre so maybe then we'll see the wood for the trees! It is very taxing though yes.

1 like

Children with FASD often do not respond well to ADHD meds as the ADHD type behaviour you see is due to the brain not having developed properly and therefore management is better. Also be careful of attachment theories & strategies as again these are based on a "perfect" brain not an FASD brain. Kids with FASD struggle with social interaction. Try and get hold of the mobile app my name is sam; it might help explain.


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