Diary of a carer
Hi I am a carer for a young man with FASD.
The weekly youth group he attends provides an opportunity for him to be sociable, meet other young adults who have additional needs and engage in activities suitable to their ages. He has been attending for a while and this has built his confidence. For some, it may seem that someone who 'appears' to have mild learning difficulties could attend a group alone, but the group would have been very different for him without a carer, in many ways.
Having FASD can mean that these social interactions are awkward and unnerving. They may find eye contact hard and knowing how to even approach someone. I find that as a carer, it would be easy to show him how to talk to people and hope he remembers it. This is unrealistic. It's about guiding him week after week, leading by example and remembering how I respond and react to people, sets the example for him. I have seen first hand how over time, with patience and guidance, he has become more confident to join in conversations with others, approach new people at the group and without a carer, this is something he would struggle with. He would probably say the wrong things to people (without realising consequences) and his time here could have been very different. The more he attends and the more social opportunities he gets, his self esteem and confidence grow. It's a constant journey for him where he will always be developing mentally and emotionally.