Tuesday, July 22, 2014


So I saw this quote circulating today “If you focus on MANAGING someone living with Fetal Alcohol rather than trying to CHANGE them, you'll get better results. “ and almost clicked back into ranting angry mama mode.  (As you may recall I’m trying to be more positive here because I believe it’s best for me, for my son and brother, for all the folks affected by FASD and well just for the world really, right?)

 I find the statement that we should be managing folks with FASD just as wrong-headed as the idea we should be changing them.   (or focused only on preventing them from existing)

How is “being in control of”, “directing” or “commanding” (all synonyms for “manage”) really all that much better than changing a person as a goal? 

What I try to do for my son and for my brother is to love them and to really know them.  I appreciate their strengths, and I accommodate their needs.   I work to manage their environment, the expectations placed on them and my own reactions to them.  What our society ought to be focusing on for all people affected by FASD is essentially the same.

We do not seek to “manage” other persons with physical differences.  We don’t “manage/ control/ command” those who are not mobile.  We understand their needs then provide accommodations like wheelchairs, or scooters or other equipment as appropriate to their general and specific situation.    We do not expect that they walk up stairs.  We make ramps or curb cutouts or elevators available.  We uphold their basic human rights and offer reasonable accommodations.

Persons with FASD should be treated no differently.  It’s just that simple.  Isn't it?


  1. Maybe semantics, I manage and guide by manipulating her environment, cueing, prepping, balancing with exercise, protein, sunlight, touch

  2. Ruby - I need to post a whole clarification I think. That's what posting in quick reaction to something gets me. I think that our cultural norms are very unkind to people affected by FASD and so in a quick sound bite on the topic (vs a conversation where more detail can get fleshed out) to Manage a Person - sounds a lot like - Control that Person i.e. manage them because they cannot manage

  3. I get it and don't think you are being overly sensitive. If I said "I'm not expecting you to change honey, I'm just going to manage you" I'd be sleeping alone tonight. Accepting, supporting, helping are what we do to HUMAN BEINGS; we manage problems or possessions or subordinates and phrasing it that way correlates my child to those negative things.