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Adaptive behaviour



Life skills which enable an individual to live independently in a safe and socially responsible manner; and how well they cope with everyday tasks.

These include:

  • conceptual skills – language, reading, math, reasoning, knowledge and memory
  • social skills – empathy, social judgement, interpersonal skills, the ability to make and retain friendships
  • practical skills – self management in areas such as personal care and daily living skills, job responsibilities, money management, recreation, and organising school and work tasks

How might the person with FASD be affected

Difficulties in self-care and day to day living

Adolescents/adults can’t live independently without assistance (family, support services) – difficulties managing money e.g. don't pay bills

Socially and financially gullible

Difficulty with peer relationships – e.g. children with developmental delay may play/socialise with younger children

Difficulty recognising and responding to social cues

Difficulties with making and keeping friends

Difficulties with personal relationships e.g. indiscriminate expression of affection overly friendly and at risk of predatory behaviours

Subject to teasing and bullying

May demonstrate features of autism spectrum disorder

Tips for managing these difficulties

Use explicit instruction – directly engaging the person in learning social skills. Requires modelling, coaching, rehearsing or practicing (families, teachers, coaches)

Use role play activities to help them understand what they need to do (e.g. how to cross the road, how to find an item at the shop and pay for it)

Put systems in place to help with knowing what to do or where they can go, such as visual charts in house which have pictures showing what needs to be done before or after school

Put automatic reminder mechanisms in place to assist the person on where or what they should be doing at a specific time (e.g programming into mobile phone) 

RETURN TO: Common difficulties and tips