Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and Youth Firesetting: A Need for Increased Awareness and Understanding Among Fire Prevention and Safety Specialists

Jerrod Brown, Cody Charette, Don Porth, Nikki Freeman, Julie Martindale


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is an irreversible, lifelong condition, which results from alco- hol exposure in utero. Approximately two to five percent of the U.S. population is affected by this debilitating disorder, but many practitioners and professionals are still widely unfamiliar with consequences caused by prenatal alcohol exposure. Deficits associated with prenatal alco- hol exposure can result in impaired executive, adaptive, social, educational, vocational, and cog- nitive functioning. These deficits can lead to impulsive behaviors and poor choice making, sometimes involving inappropriate use of fire. No current scientific research exists that has ex- amined the impact this disorder has on firesetting behaviors. Caregiver accounts and case stud- ies suggest this disorder may present challenges to ameliorating firesetting behaviors within this population.

Keywords: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, fire, safety specialist, youth 


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