Because this time in an individuals life is marked by physical and emotional change, behavioral and mental health problems stemming from pre-natal alcohol exposure become more pronounced. Depression and anxiety are common as is alcohol and drug use. It is important to not dismiss these secondary conditions as transient – each must be addressed appropriately. Vocational and transitional services are important during adolescence. Individuals with FASD often miss out on important life skills such as basic maturity, observational learning, or punctuality. Adolescents must be given explicit instruction as well as lifestyle support early on. Waiting until the individual ages-out of the educational system is not recommended.
Sexual behavior also becomes an issue at this age. Individuals with FASD are often incognizant of the boundaries for appropriate interaction, the subtle social cues, and impulse issues. The most important tool for parents is close supervision and open lines of communication. If an adolescent with FASD becomes entangled in the juvenile justice system, it is important that all disabilities be taken in to account. The justice system needs tremendous education on this issue!