Persons with FASD: Disability and Sexuality
Darlene Brackenreed

Sexuality is an essential component of human beings that may be difficult for some people with disabilities to express in satisfying ways. A disability that is often overlooked, partly due to the fact that The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) does not list it as a clinical disorder, is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Although Lemoine, Harousseau, Borteyrun, and Menuet first identified Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in 1968, it is now recognized to be part of a greater Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), which refers to a range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy (Ryan, 2006, p. 1). These effects can be physical, mental, behavioural, and cognitive (Pelech, Badry, & Daoust, 2013, p. 121). The most common traits that are present in all children with FASD are cognitive confusion, learning and memory impairment, as well as the inability to understand the consequences of their actions (Blackburn, Carpenter, & Egerton, 2009, p. 141). For the purpose of this study adults with FASD and their partners or parents were interviewed to learn of the impacts of the condition of FASD. Their responses to the interview questions identified key areas of concern and needs that are largely not being met. An unexpected finding was the difficulties they have with relationships and sexuality. This article discusses that portion of the results that dealt with disability and sexuality.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jehd.v4n2_1a5