Curriculum for Addiction Professionals > Competency 3: Treatment Strategies for Working with Clients with an FASD > 5. Adults
Competency 3: Treatment Strategies for Working with Clients with an FASD
Adults with an FASD often experience multiple risk factors in multiple domains.
Risk factors include inability to find and maintain employment, difficulty in obtaining
a stable living environment, persistent conflict with family members, and bonding
difficulties in interpersonal relationships. If areas of risk are not buffered by
protective factors, people with an FASD will be at risk for alcohol and drug
problems, and many will need treatment. Streissguth and colleagues conducted a study1 in which 21 percent of those with fetal
alcohol syndrome had substance abuse problems and 32 percent of those with other
fetal alcohol spectrum disorders had substance abuse problems.
Treating adults with an FASD is extremely complex and little has been written about
it.1 However, promising strategies
that have been proposed for working with clients with an FASD reflect some of the
successful approaches used in advocacy programs, including mentoring and family
involvement. Persons with an FASD seem to respond well to mentoring, one-on-one
relationships where they feel a personal bond with a person who acts as an advocate.