A Social Work student’s developing understanding of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum disorder from medical
Research on FASD has focused on medical/scientific findings (Gallicano, 2010; Jones, & Smith, 1973; Streissguth, Bookstein, Barr, Sampson, O’Malley, & Young, 2004). Continued medical research is thought to be helpful to our understanding of the origins of FASD and the interventions that help to address the psychosocial needs of persons with FASD. However, this paper stresses the need to also focus on the social aspects of FASD and the implications for human service workers who provide support for persons with FASD and their families. Gough and Fuchs (2006) indicate that although there is a growing prevalence of FASD-related disabilities, there is not a substantive knowledge base on child welfare practice in response to FASD. The need for human service workers to look beyond identifying a condition and addressing symptoms is emphasized. The author suggests human service workers need to prepare to work with children with FASD by reflectively appreciating the economic, legal, and cultural influences affecting persons as well as medically- and evidenced-based interventions.
Keywords: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD), medical perspectives, intervention, social support, human service workers.