Tips For Adults With FASD
© 2003
Eva Carner

My personal opinion is that most of the problems people with FASD experience are from disabilities of memory and mood.


Most people with FASD have trouble with short-term memory. That means they forget from moment to moment what they are supposed to be doing. Their long-term memory is usually better. That is the ability to remember facts.

To help your short-term memory try to use a day planner of some kind, carry the planner wherever you go and make sure you write down appointments and tasks as they come up.

Follow a schedule, make a routine for yourself and try to follow it daily. Write down the schedule so you can look at it easily and put writing in your day planner on your schedule. Always make time to organize your day, no matter how busy you get take the time to follow your schedule and write down your tasks in your day planner. This is a site that helps people organize their housework. It might help organize in other ways too. You can always change it to fit your life.


Make sure you get plenty of rest, exercise, drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet. Try to stay away from refined carbohydrates like sugar and white flour. A lot of people have found they feel better when they do and blood sugar problems are common in people with FASD.

Try and keep your environment low sensory stimulation. Try not to have too much clutter, bright colors, sounds and activity. Keep everything as simple as possible. If you get bored, try to focus on a useful task instead of cluttering up your environment and seeking lots of stimulation.

Remember itís ďnormalĒ for people with FASD to be moody. If you feel that your mood is out-of-sorts, donít panic. Generally, it will pass, just give yourself good messages and tell yourself that you will feel better soon. Try and find a soothing task that helps your mood. Many people with FASD like art or music and have interests that they explore. Exercising is relaxing too.

Never use substances like alcohol, tobacco and caffeine to manage your moods. They are addictive and bad for your health. Being addicted is very, very common in people with FASD. Never ďself-medicateĒ with substances, legal or illegal, they are a quick fix but will cause more problems than they solve. If you already have an addiction, find someone who can help steer you to someplace to get treatment. If you have avoided addiction, you are way ahead of most people with FASD, congratulations!

If you canít manage your moods on your own you may need to be medicated with prescription drugs. Many people with FASD take medications to manage their moods. Remember, donít self-medicate, find a doctor to help you. You may have to try several medications before finding what works best for you.


You will have to educate yourself about your disability so you can educate others and tell them what you need to be successful. Remember it is not your fault, you didnít ask to be born with brain damage and you have a right to be treated fairly, especially at work. When you feel comfortable, you need to let the people at work know about your disability. Chances are they have noticed already that your brain doesnít work like the average personís brain does and that might interfere with your ability to hold down a job.

Get a diagnosis if you donít have one. It might help you to become eligible for accommodations at work as you need them and you may be eligible for services from the state too. But, to qualify for both you need to have a diagnosis.

If you donít have a good support network around you, think about joining a church or other religious community. A lot of people with FASD have found that to be very helpful in more ways than one.

Stay away from people that upset you, who do illegal activities, or who use substances (legal or illegal). People with FASD are generally very friendly and want to help others, but you will only hurt yourself if you include people in your life who use substances (including alcohol) or do illegal activities.

Some of what I wrote might not apply to your life.  Here is the web address for an adult with FASD who is an advocate for all of us. I know he would love to hear from you.

Eva Carner , Director
California Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Organization


FAS Community Resource Center

Fasstar Enterprises