The maturity and development of people with FASD can be uneven and confusing. Strong abilities in certain areas, such as expressive language, can hide deficiencies in other areas. Caregivers are encouraged to “think younger” when assessing their child’s abilities and to look at dysmaturity as a symptom of the disease. The following chart displays the variability in maturity and ability in a single person with FASD
Skill/Characteristic Developmental Age Equivalent
Chronological Age ————————————————————–18
Developmental Level of Functioning——————–9
Daily Living Skills———————————————11
Artistic Ability (or other strength)—————————————————————————–29
Money and Time Concepts————————–8
This chart shows that it may be unrealistic to expect a young adult to leave the home at age 18. Perhaps additional growth and maturity may allow him or her to move out by 30. Also, parents should attempt to adjust expectations based on the developmental age displayed.
The actions of a person with FASD may be inappropriate for chronological age while still being appropriate for the developmental age. Expecting a person with FASD to correct inappropriate behavior can be frustrating for both the caregiver and the child. The following chart displays the chronological and developmental age expectations for a person with FASD. Though the chart only extends through the teen years, similar deficits exist through adulthood.
Adapted from Diane Malbin from FASCETS and the research of Streissguth, Clarren, and others.