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The FASD Elephant™: Understanding
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

A Wish for Fetal Alcohol: It would be so nice if something would make sense for a change! ~ Alice In Wonderland (1951 movie)

It would be so nice if something made sense for a change!
~ Alice in Wonderland
(and—with apologies to Lewis Carroll—many FASD Caregivers)

Welcome to The FASD Elephant™ website!

This website helps caregivers and professionals understand Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) differently. Look at it from a different perspective, and you’ll create practical, new interventions that work better.

If you’re new to FASD, check out the Beginner’s Guide to FASD page. It’s still developing, but it has some basic definitions and a couple short videos about FASD.

Whether you’re new to FASD or know it well, it is always a challenge, and there’s something in this website for every level to help make more sense of prenatal fetal alcohol exposure.

Making Sense of FASDs

As a psychologist, I’ve seen families who make it work, and I’ve seen heart-wrenching fails: forced foster care, residential placements and treatments, running away, failed adoptions, suicide attempts, and incarcerations.

As a foster parent, I’ve felt personal success and failure, too. I understand how sadness, worry, embarrassment, anger and confusion affect you. I know you can’t do it alone. I know you need support. And I know it helps to understand what is going on—as crazy as it may feel in the moment!

We can all learn from each other, quit trying the same bad strategies over and over, and find the information we need: Together, in an honest, practical, and constructive way, you (and your FASD team) can move mountains—even if it’s one stone at a time.

A Fetal Alcohol Point of View

Metaphors are so important in understanding why we approach things the way we do. This was what started the FASD Elephant™—helping people think differently about FASD to make better interventions, solutions, and ways of coping. Here’s a short video explaining the FASD Elephant™ metaphor:

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Treating Fetal Alcohol, attachment, and trauma simultaneously.

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