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Competence 5: Continuing Care of Families Affected by FASD

Continuing Care Services for Clients with Children with an FASD or Possible FASD, Continued

Potential Risks for Child Abuse in Families

sad child

Parental substance abuse is associated with a more than twofold increase in the risk of exposure to both childhood physical and sexual abuse.11 In addition, children with physical, psychological, and sensory disabilities are known to be more vulnerable to violence and maltreatment or to be at a greater risk of these forms of abuse.12 Children with an FASD have disabilities and generally have at least one parent with substance abuse problems, thus increasing the risk of abuse.

Children with an FASD may have multiple disabilities, such as vision problems, behavior problems, and sensory integration issues. Parents may find the child’s behavior baffling, frustrating, and overwhelming and may have difficulty finding appropriate ways to manage the child’s environment and behavior. The addiction professional needs to be alert to the possibility of child abuse in such families and provide referrals to appropriate counseling and parenting classes.

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