Title

Supporting Adults Living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Achieving Community Integration: A Complex Task

Department

Social Work

Date of Paper/Work

2015

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper

Advisors

David J. Roseborough

Abstract

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) is an all-encompassing term that refers to specific diagnoses resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure which cause a multitude of social and adaptive deficits for children that will typically become more pronounced as they age. These probable, lifelong deficits suggest that adults are likely to need unique supports throughout their lives for successful community integration. The purpose of this study was to explore the complex aspects of community integration for adults living with FASD. Using a qualitative design, four participants, who identified as a caregiver to an adult child with FASD, were interviewed regarding what types of services and supports are utilized, what barriers have been faced, and what still may be needed by adults living with FASD to enhance community integration. Data were analyzed using both inductive and deductive approaches in which reoccurring concepts present in the data were identified. These concepts were then organized into themes and subthemes and then linked to previous literature. The findings indicate that adults living with FASD had a very active caregiver in their life to help with service coordination, organizing and planning, and to act as a safety net. All of the caregivers reported that their adult children have utilized both formal and informal supports to supplement community integration and all had also faced systemic barriers to access supports. In addition, all participants were able to identify both struggles and successes that their adult children experienced with autonomy in community integration. These findings indicate that adults living with FASD do need supports and are likely in need of unique supports and services for optimal community integration which points to the need for continued research into the complex aspects of community integration for adults living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

Keywords

community integration, adult, FASD, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.