Curriculum for Addiction Professionals > Competency 5: Continuing Care of Families Affected by FASD > 5b. Vulnerability of Individuals with an FASD
Competency 6: Legal Issues
Legal Issues Related to Individuals with an FASD, Continued
Vulnerability of Individuals with an FASD
Individuals with an FASD are vulnerable
not only to criminal activity but also to victimization. Their poor judgment
may lead them to associate with people who victimize them physically, emotionally,
and financially. Their impulsivity may lead them into dangerous situations.
In addition, their impaired sense of boundaries can lead to sexual victimization.
Because of their unpredictable nature, they may need 24-hour supervision.4,5
Even with compensatory strategies, the
person with an FASD may be unable to use judgment, consider consequences,
or understand abstract situations. Impulsivity is an ongoing issue. Social
isolation and loneliness may drive the person to seek out any type of friendship
and lead to victimization.
A discussion or pursuit of safeguards
for the person may be necessary:
- Recognize that victimization may
occur and keep vigilant for situations that may arise in the person’s
- Persons with an FASD may need a guardianship
of funds to protect them from those who seek to take advantage of their
good nature. A trustee can ensure that the necessities of life are covered
by person’s funds including rent, food, or clothing. The addiction
professional may want to include such provisions in the aftercare plan.
- A person may be exploited by others
in many different ways. Discussion of safe environments and connection
to community resources may offer the adult a chance to explore other options.
- Role playing specific scenarios that
people face gives them a chance to practice taught skills and perhaps allow
them to pursue safe activities.
- Structured time throughout the person’s
day, a buddy system, and supervision may help decrease the opportunities
- Teaching personal safety issues such
as who is a stranger versus who is a friend can help. It is important to
be specific and practice.6