FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) 2018-05-30T17:30:46+00:00

Project Description

Learning about FASD

TAKE 2 minutes FOR TRAINING – Video 1: Intro to FASD

TAKE 2 TRANSCRIPT (for Video 1: Intro to FASD)

Margaret:  So, Angel, can you tell us about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder? What it is – maybe just give us a general overview.

Angel: It’s a wide spectrum. Not two people are affected the same.

Margaret:  Is there any cure?

Angel: No. It’s lifelong.

Margaret:  So, there are different ways to cope, I guess, with it.  Learning strategies?

Angel:  Yes, every day is a new challenge. You never know what each day is going to bring. You could have everything planned out, your schedule planned out and something sets up off. Something triggers you. I find that you are overly sensitive, triggered easily, extra emotional.

There are a lot of people that will struggle with such things as comprehension,  memory (short term, long term)  impulsive so they’ll act on impulse, without thinking.  They can’t relate consequences with their actions. So automatically, you go and do something and then you’re like, “Actually, now I’m going to spend my afternoon paying for the consequences of my poor decisions.”

So you don’t know what each day is going to bring. Each day is something new.

Margaret:  So how about you personally? How does this affect you on a daily basis?

Angel:  Every day is a struggle. I find that my memory and my comprehension is probably my biggest struggle. Sometimes I’ll have friends say something to me, and quite often I’m like, “Can you please repeat that – in a different way so I can understand it?” Sometimes it can take up to 4 or 5 times of re-explaining it before I get it, but then all of a sudden I’ll get it.  The light bulb comes on.

The memory thing – like for instructions. If your boss goes, “I need you to do these four things.” And they’ll name the four things. And I’m like, “Overload!”  Now I’m overloaded. Now I’m not going to remember any of those 4 things.

I need to write them down. Either write them down or give one step at a time or else I just go into overload. And then it’s anxiety. Meltdown.  Really, it affects everybody differently, right.   Some people – it won’t make them melt down; some people lash out in anger.

TAKE2 Videos by Title

TAKE2 Videos by Trainer

TAKE 2 minutes FOR TRAINING – Video 2

note: see the bottom of this page for the full-length version of Video 2

Video 2: Part I-How To Help People With FASD Learn

TAKE 2 TRANSCRIPT (for Video 2: Part I)

Margaret: What helps you to learn best, Angel?  What’s the best way for you to learn?

Angel: Definitely a quiet space.  As soon as I’m distracted, if there is anybody around me, I am so distracted. I get easily distracted so it has to be a quiet space and a space that, you know, that’s why they’re there. Like a library, in a corner though. Right? Like somewhere very quiet.

I do best if someone reads it to me. Once I read it I don’t understand; I’m not comprehending what’s read to me. I’m so focussed on trying to read it, because I struggle with my reading, that I just miss the whole thing. I don’t get it. I don’t remember what I read. It’s my memory issues.  Where if someone reads it to me then I understand it better. So audio, for sure.

Margaret:  Is it better to have less amount of information at one time?

Angel: Yes. Yes.

Margaret: Okay

Angel: I found that I address one topic at a time. Like there is, I will not… When the teacher gives me my workload, I’ll have actually just one portion of it.  Where everyone will get the whole book and get everything, I’ll get just a portion of it because if you see everything then I just get anxiety and overloaded.  And it just shuts me down. Then you’re not getting anything out of me. Yep.

Margaret: Okay. And I know that when we talk about meeting at a certain time it’s helpful for you if I send you an email or a text. Write it down right?

Angel: Absolutely

Margaret: That is helpful?

Angel: Yeah.  It’s the memory thing. I struggle so much. It’s a big struggle, you will find, with anyone to have routine. Structure. And then the memory affects everything, so you miss appointments constantly.


Video 2: Part II-Encouragement For Visiting Prisons

TAKE 2 TRANSCRIPT (for Video 2: Part II)

Margaret: Right. So I mean…you can… the possibility of encountering somebody with FASD at a correctional facility is pretty good, right?

Angel: I would say it’s pretty high.  With Fetal Alcohol Syndrome it goes back to the impulse. We’re impulsive.  We don’t think of the consequences.  So, more often you’ll see that’s probably what three quarters of prison people are, is people who have been affected by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

And then it’s not… either it’s not acknowledged…it’s ignored…so then they go on with these struggles and right away they go with their impulses and it’s just a pattern. Back to prison. Back to prison.  Back to prison.

And it just continues as a pattern until somebody steps up to journey beside them and be that consistent person in their life.

I find a big part, for myself, is having the external brain.  Everyone says that.

And this is where it ties into exactly God’s plan of things right? We are supposed to do things together.  We are supposed to be engaged in community.  We’re not meant to do it on our own.

And I think that’s a real big key part with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome because you can’t do it on your own and you need to know that.  You need those external supports because that’s what keeps you to have that balance. To learn boundaries. To not be so impulsive. To not end up in prison.

For me, the supports are the absolute key part to turning my life around. And to be able to reach someone; to share Jesus with them.


 Video 2: Part III-Why Is She Yawning?

TAKE 2 TRANSCRIPT (for Video 2: Part III)

Margaret: And I know you told me that you’re tired a lot. And so why are you so tired?

Angel:  My whole life.

Margaret: Do you sleep well at night?

Angel: No. It’s terrible.  You know how a hamster is on a wheel? It’s like that at night. Your thinking kicks in. It’s like night time. Because you’re not straddled with anything. And then it’s like all your thinking of the day kicks in at night. So your worries, your stresses, things you might have accomplished that day because, the truth is, I can’t attempt to accomplish as much as someone else because it’s more time consuming for stuff. So all the worries and everything kicks in. And then I will think of the next day and I’m like, Well what do I have going on tomorrow?” And I’m already worried.  Am I going to accomplish this? So then you’re up and you’re stressed out worrying or you’re getting up and doing stuff that you have to do the next day.  Whatever you can do that night at home to try and make it so you get through the next day. Because you’re worrying.  You’re stressing.  And as tired as your body may feel, your brain tells you different. It just goes and goes. So constantly I feel tired.

It’s ongoing.

Margaret: Interesting. But then as…because it’s a spectrum disorder….so everybody who would have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder would have slightly different struggles and challenges?

Not all exactly the same.

Angel: Yes. So it’s… yeah.. it wouldn’t be the same for everybody with the sleeping struggles.  It is a very well known one though. One of the more main ones is that you struggle sleeping. A lot of people are on a lot of heavy medication for it.  I was on sleeping pills for awhile there but they just make you groggy and then you’ve really deleted the next day.  So I just found in the end it started stressing me out more. So instead of taking sleeping pills now I don’t but then I’m tired and I lack the sleep. So it, I guess, it’s finding that balance.  What works best for you. It’s different for every individual.

Margaret: Right


Video 2: Part IV-How To Share Jesus

TAKE 2 TRANSCRIPT (for Video 2: Part IV)

Margaret: So, in CS we share about Jesus with all kinds of people. And so what are some practical ways that we could share Jesus with somebody who has FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder)?

Angel: For starters, I’ve got to say patience. Patience. I think that’s the key part to it all.

They have to feel comfortable right away, and you’ve got to take that time to build into that relationship. It’s just almost like any relationship, right? You’ve got to build the trust. And if you don’t have the foundation between the two, it’s not going to go anywhere.

But it does, I’m going to be honest, it takes a lot of extra time. Because I’ve had amazing wonderful people in my life, and still to this day, I’ll go back to questioning things. And I think it just comes from the disability, the insecurities the fears. It’s just part of who you are.

And so then automatically you question things. So that – often, most people are going to have to – that’s where the consistency comes in. You have to continue to be there to show that you’re there to show them the love of Jesus. There’s no strings behind it. You’re there because you care. You’re there because you want to be there. Not because you have to be.

So you guys going into the prisons, and doing this ministry is huge. Because they know right away, you’re not paid. You’re coming for me. So right away that’s going to open a way.

But it’s consistency. It’s time consuming. It’s dedication. It’s not giving up even when we go to push you away. Because that’s what we do.

Margaret:  Oh yeah?

Angel: We tend to try and push away. And it’s just out of fear because of the rejection we experienced growing up. And then you have this disability so right away in school you’re not fitting in. So you already have these rejection issues and insecurities so right away you’re going to question no matter who comes in your life. And they’ve got to work a little bit harder to be in your life. That’s just the way it goes. I don’t know. Can’t help it. It’s the way you’re wired.

Margaret: So, in CS we share about Jesus with all kinds of people. And so what are some practical ways that we could share Jesus with somebody who has FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder)?

TAKE 2 minutes FOR TRAINING – Video 3: What Do You Wish People Knew About FASD? 

no TAKE2  transcript available for Video 3

Video 4: How To Study The Bible With Those Who Struggle With FASD 

There are no TAKE2 excerpts or TRANSCRIPTS for Video 4. See below for the full-length video.

  • TRAINER: Angel Aspden interviewed by Margaret-staff, Edmonton

     SOURCE:  recorded for Volunteer Training Online

    POSTED:  Mar 2017

full-length VIDEO 2

full-length VIDEO 4

Leave A Comment