Does having FASD always mean the person is mentally retarded?
No. Many people with FASD have a normal IQ. Some have a low IQ. However, all of them are brain damaged and all need to learn how to use their intelligence. Think of it like a person who sustains brain damage from a stroke or car accident. That person will have deficits from the trauma but will still have strengths. The person may need to learn an entirely new way of getting dressed, reading a newspaper, and so on. Similarly, a person with FASD has strengths and weaknesses. Early diagnosis and effective interventions help maximize his or her potential, regardless of intelligence level.