Supporting Employment

Strategies and Accommodation to Support Employment in People with FASD

What is FASD

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FASD and Involvement in the Justice System

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FASD and Transitioning into Employment

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In this section

For Employment Service Professionals

For Employers

Prior to Employment

The previous section focused on providing broad principles that can guide successful interactions with people with FASD and experience within the justice system.

This section outlines practical tools and specific strategies which can be adopted and implemented by employment service professionals, employers and those in the justice workforce supporting transition into the workforce.

John Doe

Organisation name

What Employment Service Professionals can do Prior to Employment

Employment service professionals can implement these 4 work-related supports:

  1. Ensure Wellbeing Before and During Employment
  2. Prepare for Employment
  3. Identify Appropriate Employment
  4. Provide Ongoing Support to Maintain Long Term Employment

Ensure Wellbeing Before and During Employment

Good wellbeing means being comfortable, healthy and happy. Improving someone’s wellbeing improves their chances of successful employment, just as successful employment can also contribute to positive wellbeing.

It is important to assess wellbeing before and monitor it during employment. Bear in mind that some of the factors that impact an employee’s sense of wellbeing may or may not be controllable.

The following chart can be used to assess the wellbeing of the persons that you work with.

Note: All charts reproduced with permission and adapted from Makela, Kapasi and Pei (2019).

Prepare for Employment

Once it has been established that a person with FASD is ready to take up employment, the logical next step would be to help them prepare for a successful and sustainable employment. 

This section comprises of two steps for promoting work preparedness.

Sub-step 1. Establish the individual’s employability skill    

Step 1. focuses on the types of employability skills that an individual generally requires to obtain and maintain a job.

These employability skills can be subsumed under the following core categories

  • Communication and Social Skills
  • Stress Management
  • Time Management
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Teamwork

One-on-one discussions with the individual with FASD or direct observations of them can help you ascertain whether they possess these employability skills.

Sub-step 2. Establish job fit

Step 2. focuses on job fit. ‘Job fit’ refers to the appropriate match between an employee and their work (duties). As such, it is an essential factor in fostering successful and sustainable employment.

Establishing the right fit between the employee and the work they will be engaged in includes developing an awareness of what the individual with FASD is looking for in a job and career as well as what may be best suited to them given their unique interests, goals, current skillset and functioning.

At this preparation stage, it’s important to be aware of the types of job opportunities that may be appropriate and be ready to change jobs or identify opportunities to create jobs that are suitable.

Employment service professionals should also endeavor to establish working relationships with potential employers that may be open to employing an individual with FASD and justice background.

This chart can be used to assess these steps:


Identify Appropriate Employment

This next step is to guide the process of searching for work.

Sub-step 1. Guide your client in their search for work.

At this stage, you may need to be creative when searching for a job.

A job with the right fit for an individual with FASD may not necessarily be available. In this case, you may need to do some “work carving” with a potential employer to change or create a job based on the latter’s needs and your client’s abilities.

Sub-step 2. Assess whether a potential job identified by yourself and/or the individual with FASD is a good fit.

This will entail some flexibility on the employer’s part and as the individual settles into their new role and workplace.

This chart can be used to assess this step:

Note: All charts reproduced with permission and adapted from Makela, Kapasi and Pei (2019). Guide for employment professionals supporting employment in adults with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders_V2.

Provide Ongoing Support to Maintain Long Term Employment

The following charts can be used to assess these steps:
  • Chart 1. Comprises several items assessing whether the work (including the roles and duties) performed by the client remains a good fit for them. 
  • Chart 2. Assesses currency of employability skills and what needs to be done to continue keep their skills up to date for the work they do.
  • Chart 3. Focuses on the viability of the relationships between the client, yourself and the employers.

What Employers can do Prior to Employment

Employers are in a unique position to help those with FASD and experience in the Justice system to gain sustainable employment and lead meaningful lives. 

Employers can minimise the effects of cognitive and physical challenges by recognising where they might occur and making reasonable adjustments. This includes changing work processes, practices, procedures and the environment itself to emphasize their strengths and minimise their challenges. Furthermore, it is important that employers create a culturally safe and appropriate workplace for their employees with FASD.

Being open to making such adjustments results in a workplace that is flexible and more likely to retain staff and skills. 

John Doe

Organisation name

Employers who are considering welcoming someone with a disability into their workplace have an obligation under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 to accommodate for persons with FASD, as long as this does not result in unjustifiable hardship to them or their organisation.

Work supports for FASD exist in many forms (for more information, visit Workplace Adjustments for Employees with Disability).

Depending on the employee’s needs, work supports can be incorporated into daily routines, regularly or periodically. They can either be implemented during the initial training stages and/or throughout the duration of the employment, and/or can be phased out over time.

In order to better understand the challenges that people with FASD may face and to implement tailored work support solutions to assist in the workplace, it is important that employers ask themselves the following questions:

Disability employment services can provide information on the right supports and accommodations to help people with FASD.

As an employer, you will benefit from these services as they assist you in matching the individual to the right job within your organisation.

In order to receive this support, ensure to:

Consult with your chosen Disability Employment Services or Employment Service Professionals

Consult with your chosen Disability Employment Services provider to ascertain the right types of jobs for persons with disabilities such as FASD, including those with a criminal background. It is often the case that disability-friendly jobs exist within your own company without you being aware of it. Consulting an outsider, particularly one with the right expertise can help you see the jobs within your company from a different perspective. With the agency, identify the strengths in the potential employee with FASD to determine a suitable position that leads to success rather than frustration.

Provide them with access to your management team 

Accordion Content

In addition to working closely with the Disability Employment Services and other employment agencies, there are some measures you can take to ensure your workplace is ready to support a person with FASD.

These include:

Management Training

Disability training can have a positive effect on your workplace and your customers, particularly if your business is oriented towards customer service and retail. 

If you have several management or supervisory teams, it is paramount that you educate them about what FASD might look like in the workplace as well as what the implications of having a criminal history might entail for the individual. Related to this, it is important to maintain a repository of accommodations and strategies that they can readily access should they need to assist an individual with FASD. Ensure that you take a comprehensive approach to working alongside persons with disabilities such as FASD.

Reviewing and refining your recruitment processes, including the advertising of jobs and interviews

Review and refine your recruitment processes, including the advertising of jobs and interviews.

Recruitment processes can often inadvertently introduce barriers for persons with disabilities generally. Your organisation is encouraged to make minor adjustments to the recruitment process to minimise those barriers and allow the opportunity for the individual with FASD to put their best foot forward and portray their skills and competencies fully to you. 

Doing so would also ensure that as an employer, you can make an informed choice regarding whom to recruit. Below are some tips on how to remove those employment barriers.

Be Mindful of How You Describe Jobs:

Job descriptions are often written in such a way that they include skills that are not critical to the job being advertised. For examples, requirements to have “excellent communication skills” or “excellent organisational skills” and/or to be “excellent team players” are often included but are really default skills that are specified by most employers advertising for work. Unfortunately, many people with disabilities such as FASD may get discouraged from applying for jobs demanding such requirements. This is particularly the case if they have spent time in the justice system and have had limited chances to really develop and/or demonstrate those skills. Applying such criteria strictly can lead to you missing out on accessing candidates who may have strong skills that are directly relevant to the tasks.

Hence, any job descriptions should always describe skills, abilities and experiences that are genuinely essential to the conduct of the work and leave out others that are not. They should also be written concisely, in plain English and all jargon and unnecessary information should be left out. 

Tips for Interview Adjustments

It is important to realise that asking each applicant the same question might not necessarily equate to equality of opportunity.

People with FASD are a diverse group in terms of their cognitive skills and it  would be important to adapt the interview process and questions.

John Doe

Organisation name

Consider Alternatives to the Traditional Interview

If adapting your interviewing procedures feels daunting or if you determine that the more traditional interview formats may not be the best way to gauge the individual’s suitability for the job, consider less traditional approaches such as:

Inviting a support person to accompany the individual

Some persons with FASD may be able to perform better in interviews if they are accompanied by someone they feel comfortable with. This person can provide support and ease the communication between yourself and the individual with FASD by clarifying or rewording questions. In this instance, the support person’s role is not to respond on behalf of the individual with FASD but purely to facilitate the communication between yourself and the individual with FASD and help the latter more clearly articulate their knowledge and skills.

Implementing Work Trials

Consider that a work trial or a period of work experience might be a useful way of assessing the individual’s work attributes than an interview. Such an approach will not only give you an idea of not only how the person with FASD is likely to do well in the job in the long term but also how well they will be able to cope within the work environment.

General Do’s and Don’ts for Recruiting an Individual with FASD

There are some things to bear in mind prior to embarking on your journey of recruting someone with FASD with a justice background. Please consult the Library and see Factsheet 3 which provides a list of factors to take into consideration prior to recruiting an individual with FASD. This list of handy tips may be useful in helping you shape your approach to recruitment and your general attitudes and behaviours towards the person with FASD. 

For some useful tips of things to consider before employing an individual with FASD, please see the Library (Do’s and Don’ts of Recruiting an Individual with FASD and Justice Background’).

Once in Employment, Monitor the Individual’s Wellbeing:

1. Clarify your expectations of the work.

Be explicit about your expectations to the person with FASD, particularly with regard to specific tasks they are required to undertake, workplace social etiquettes and unwritten rules of the workplace. Make it clear to them that any supports and accommodations that are being implemented are there to help them perform optimally, not because they are not good or competent enough. 

2. Provide hands-on supports and training.

Clear and structured training by a manager, co-workers, a mentor or job coach is invaluable. More information about mentoring in the workplace is provided below. In addition, the following link comprises information about how to access a job coach for persons with disabilities: 

3. Ensure that instructions are concise and specific.

Give clear instructions to the employee from the get-go and explain to them in exact terms how to carry out each task, from start to finish. This will provide them with a strong foundation for good work practices that they can build on. 
Do not assume that the person will be able to infer what you mean from informal and broad instructions.
For instance, instead of saying “Give everyone here a copy of this, please’, try a more specific instruction such as ‘Please make three photocopies of this handout and give them to Jim, Lily and James’. 
Ask the person to repeat back the instructions to you to check their understanding.
When possible, it may be beneficial to provide written instructions.

4. Maintain a well-structured work environment.

Due to common difficulties with self-organisation and planning, it is important that the employee’s work environment remains fairly well-structured. This can be achieved by:

  • Providing a schedule of daily, weekly and monthly tasks, including deadlines for their completion.
  • Helping the individual prioritise their work by being clear about the order in which tasks should be completed.
  • Helping the individual break larger tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks or steps.
  • Specifying start and finish times as well as breaks for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea (or other ones that are applicable).

5. Schedule regular performance reviews

Just as with all employees, employers should ensure that they have regular one-on-one meetings and performance appraisals with the individual with FASD. These meetings should be focused on discussing and reviewing performance, providing overall comments and suggestions.

For some employees with FASD, brief but more frequent reviews may work better than longer, less frequent reviews. 

6. Provide sensitive but direct feedback.

People with FASD can find it difficult to pick up on and interpret social cues. It is therefore important that you make sure your feedback is direct, honest, constructive and consistent. For instance, if a task is completed incorrectly, do not allude or imply that something is wrong with the task to them. Instead:

  • Explain tactfully what is wrong and why it is wrong.
  • Check their understanding of your feedback.
  • Teach them how to do the task correctly or rectify it, providing clear instructions.

Be aware of some people with FASD may experience anxiety, feel insecure, have low self-esteem or have a history of being bullied. So, ensure that your feedback is constructive, with positive comments provided where appropriate.

7. Provide reassurance and guidance in stressful situations.

People with FASD tend to experience elevated levels of anxiety and negative emotional responses when faced with stressful situations or when they feel bad about themselves and their performance.

Often, this comes from a lifetime of limited access to emotional supports. In the workplace, you can help them by:

  • Providing concrete solutions to the ongoing issues (e.g., “If this photocopier here is not working, you can use the one on the third floor”).
  • Providing reassurance. For example, an employee who arrives to work late due to transportation issues or mechanical issues may be reassured if you let them know that it is not a problem and that you understand that such things are not their fault and outside of their control.
  • Assigning them with a workplace mentor or buddy whom they can go to in times of stress, anxiety and confusion.

8. Prepare and advise them of any upcoming changes.

Advise the individual with FASD of any changes to their tasks, to the workplace or other relevant issues, as far in advance as is possible. Provide them with specific information about these changes, what it means for them and advice on how they can cope with those changes.

9. Watch for sensory hypo- and hyper-sensitivities.

Some persons with FASD may become hyper-sensitive to senses such as smell, sight, sound and touch. In some instances, this may cause them to shut down or to over-react. Where possible and when specific sensitivities are identified, work with the individual to implement accommodations. For example, if an individual is sensitive to bright and coloured lights, change the configurations of the lights they work under or provide other adjustments as required.Some persons with FASD may become hyper-sensitive to senses such as smell, sight, sound and touch. In some instances, this may cause them to shut down or to over-react. Where possible and when specific sensitivities are identified, work with the individual to implement accommodations. For example, if an individual is sensitive to bright and coloured lights, change the configurations of the lights they work under or provide other adjustments as required.

10. Raise awareness of FASD and associated challenges amongst co-workers.

If the individual with FASD consents to their condition being disclosed to their colleagues, it may be helpful to provide the latter with some information and guidance on what FASD is and how having an individual with FASD in the workplace is beneficial to everyone. It may also be helpful to have the person with FASD write up a document briefly outlining what some of the common challenges and strengths they personally experience might be and what strategies (e.g., communication strategies) work best for them.

11.Consider how to create a culturally safe and appropriate workplace.

Seek understanding of the importance of cultural, family and kinship obligations
All employees have pressures and responsibilities that relate to their home and community life. Employers need to understand that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples also have responsibilities and commitments that are more specific to their own unique culture, community life and kinship. These responsibilities are extremely important and on occasions, fulfilling these may conflict with meeting workplace responsibilities. These are serious issues to consider and in order to prevent any potential conflicts, employers should have sensitive and respectful discussions with employees with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island backgrounds from the outset. 

Specific cultural issues that employers should be aware of include:

  • The importance of family and kinship ties
  • Cultural obligations
  • Any dates and cultural events that are of specific significance to the individual, including events such as NAIDOC Week, Sorry Day, National Reconciliation Week and local and regional events
  • The need to have time away from work for issues such as Sorry business

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees may be very involved in caring for children, elderly family members and other family members outside of their immediate family. This may be in terms of providing financial assistance, attending health care needs or providing general care.

Hence, to help their employees meet their obligations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander but also others), employers may consider implement flexible work arrangements.

The following chart can be used to facilitate this. 

Creating a Culturally Safe and Appropriate Workplace for Employees with FASD

Employers who demonstrate a sense of initiative towards promoting and encouraging diversity and inclusivity create a workplace of choice.

A workplace of choice which values diversity not only attracts the best candidates for a job but are also more likely to have employees who are motivated and satisfied in the long-term. These can lead to better business outcomes overall and a better reputation within the community.

Promoting diversity and instilling a sense of inclusivity both rely on employers and their staff generally having or developing effective cultural knowledge and understandings.

As mentioned earlier, FASD occurs across all ethnic and cultural groups, including non-Indigenous Australians and Indigenous Australians. This means that there will be much diversity amongst persons with FASD seeking employment following their involvement with the justice system.

Employers can therefore think about ways to ensure a culturally safe and appropriate workplace for employees from diverse backgrounds, such as culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities and Indigenous Australian employees.

Accommodating for cultural and linguistic differences in the workplaces can be achieved by:

  • Committing to and implementing diversity and inclusivity policies that are endorsed by senior management and have clear, measurable and transparent outcomes.
  • Committing to boosting your own and your team’s cultural competency through training on cross-cultural issues, such as cultural knowledge and understandings, and differences in language and communication.
  • Acknowledging holidays, celebrating significant events of all cultures represented within your team and ensuring flexible arrangements (e.g., giving employees time off to observe their religions and cultural holidays and events, not scheduling important work activities such as meetings on those days, asking people how they intend to celebrate their cultural holidays and significant events, etc).
  • Using inclusive language to negate discrimination in the workplace.
  • Mixing up teams to foster a sharing of learning and understandings from different voices, experiences, values and cultures.

For more information, please visit: Flexible Working Arrangements – Fair work Australia

Welcoming Indigenous Australians in your Workplace

Employers who seek to welcome Indigenous Australians in their workplace should think about how to create and maintain a culturally safe and appropriate work environment.

This can be achieved by:

  1. Improving your understanding of Indigenous Australian peoples’ culture and language including customs, modes of communication and historical factors such as colonisation that have shaped the lives of Indigenous Australians (for more information: Working with Indigenous Australians – Home).
  2. Preparing the workplace by implementing practices that show a commitment to welcoming and supporting Indigenous Australian staff members.
  3. Adopting selection processes and procedures that are flexible and inclusive.
  4. Implementing processes and procedures to improve the retention of Indigenous Australian employees and ensuring their wellbeing throughout the entirety of their employment.

The Western Australian Department of Training and Workforce Development provides a very useful resource detailing simple ways in which employers can achieve the abovementioned steps.

The resource can be accessed here:
Information for employers of Aboriginal people .pdf (

For useful and important tips on how to communicate with Indigenous Australians in a culturally appropriate manner, please visit:
Communicating with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Audiences | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (

Hands-on Supports for Employees with FASD

Natural workplace supports occur routinely in the workplace or, in other words, are already provided by employers to all employees.

A natural support person in the workplace such as a supervisor or a mentor can offer guidance on appropriate work behaviors and interpersonal skills, provide one-on-one job skills training in the workplace, provide support with problem-solving and help the individual adjust to the work environment.

The guidance of a natural support person can be reduced over time, once the employee with FASD develops their skills and independence.

There are many methods an employer can adopt to help their staff acquire new skills and settle in the workplace, regardless of whether they have FASD or not.

These methods come at minimal or no cost to employers and are often already implemented in some form in the workplace.

How can employers optimise natural supports to help people with FASD within the workplace?  

We will cover 4 types of hands-on supports for employees with FASD and justice involvement:

  1. Workplace Mentoring
  2. Coaching
  3. Job Shadowing
  4. Job Carving
Hands-on support 1 of 4

Workplace Mentoring

A mentor is an individual who can provide support, guidance, constructive feedback, encouragement and role modeling. Mentoring helps another individual achieve their personal and professional goals.

There are multiple forms of mentoring that can take place both within and outside the workplace, as well as during and outside of work hours:

Peer mentoring

This involves allocating the individual with FASD to a coworker who is close in age, who can act as a sounding board for ideas and plans and offer guidance in an informal manner.

Disability mentoring

This involves allocating the individual with FASD with another person, usually with a similar disability (e.g., FASD).

Group mentoring

This involves allocating a mentor to a group of mentees with shared interests and needs.


This involves providing mentorship to the individual with FASD via e-mail or other internet platforms.

Jane Doe

Organisation Name

Tips to create successful mentoring relationships

Each mentor-mentee relationship is unique; however, all effective mentoring relationships share common elements.

The longer a mentoring relationship lasts the better outcome it can have. The duration of the relationship itself depends on the quality of the relationship between the mentor and the mentee.

Hands-on support 2 of 4

Job Coaching

Job coaching is an effective tool which is typically supplied by an outside agency rather than by the employer.

The main goal is to help the individual with FASD transition into employment and identify solutions to any of the challenges they may encounter.

A chief role of the job coach is to provide specialised on-site training to the employee with a disability such as FASD.

Elements of training may include helping the individual to integrate themselves within the workplace as well as teaching them to perform their job accurately, efficiently and safely.

The level and degree of involvement of the job coach should be reduced over time, particularly as the employee starts to master the requirements of their job and the skills they have been taught.

Eventually, it should get to the point where the job coach should only contact the employee and the employer/supervisor when needed.

Why offer Job Coaching?

Jane Doe, from Organisation Name

Hands-on support 3 of 4

Job Shadowing

Job shadowing is a form of on-the-job learning strategy.

It involves a less experienced employee following, observing and interacting with a more experienced employee throughout their workday.

Job shadowing is a short-term strategy and may last anywhere from a few hours up to a full working week.

It is an optional aspect of work and requires approval from a line manager.

Benefits of Job Shadowing:

Hands-on support 4 of 4

Job Carving

Job carving involves creating a new position that suits the individual by combining two or more components from other jobs.

Job carving may be done prior to employment. It can also be done after the person with FASD has started a role but finds it difficult to perform all tasks within it. In this case, a new job is carved out of duties they can perform.

Benefits of Job Carving:

Cognitive Supports for Employees with FASD

This section provides a list of types of accommodations and adjustments an employer may need to consider implementing for their employees with FASD. 

Note that each type of accommodation and adjustment is specific to each type of difficulty that is commonly seen in FASD. 

Consistent and repeated use of the techniques listed can improve the chances of their success in creating a work environment that is conducive to good outcomes for people with FASD. 

We will cover cognitive supports for 9 cognitive challenges of employees with FASD and justice involvement:

  1. Attention
  2. Generalising
  3. Memory
  4. Language and Communication
  5. Decision Making and Judgement
  6. Difficulties Initiating Tasks
  7. Difficulties Carrying out a Plan of Action
  8. Impulsivity (including poor inhibition and lack of self-control)
  9. Self-awareness and insight
Cognitive support 1 of 9


Attention is an important aspect of our daily work and promotes thoroughness, accuracy and consistency when accomplishing our tasks. 

Being able to attend to our work ensures that we complete it to a high standard, minimises the likelihood of errors and reduces the amount of supervision needed. 

Paying attention, particularly for long periods of time, can be challenging to the individual with FASD. These difficulties with attention may be misinterpreted by employers as carelessness or a lack of motivation.

Common difficulties with attention can include:

Strategies for Attention

John Doe, Organisation Name

Cognitive support 2 of 9


Generalisation means having the ability to transfer skills and knowledge learnt in one setting to other settings, people and activities.

This is an important skill to have in the workplace as it ensures flexibility and ease when learning new tasks and activities.

Given their cognitive difficulties, generalising can be challenging for people with FASD.

Poor generalisation can include:

Strategies to Support Generalisation

Cognitive support 3 of 9


Moments of forgetfulness are commonplace.

It is not useful nor efficient for our brain to remember everything!

With moments of forgetfulness come mistakes, such as forgetting to show up to a meeting or forgetting to do a task.

These can be embarrassing and frustrating and can potentially impact our efficiency and goals. Difficulties with memory can be a common aspect of living with FASD.

Memory difficulties can include:

Strategies for Memory

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Language and Communication

Good communication is the oil that keeps a business moving and successful.

Good communication amongst employees, the management and consumers lead to better outcomes. Communication also promotes a healthier and less stressful workplace.

Communication is often challenging for the individual with FASD due to difficulties with language.

Difficulties with language and communication can include:

Further language and communication difficulties can include:

 Strategies for Language and Communication

John Doe, Organisation Name

Cognitive support 5 of 9

 Decision Making and Judgement

The ability to make decisions and exercise sound judgement are valuable skills in the workplace as this helps employees to make mindful choices that increase chances of favorable outcomes. 

The person with FASD can have compromised decision-making skills and judgments, leading to:

 Strategies to promote/support decision-making and judgment

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Difficulties Initiating Tasks

Task initiation refers to one’s ability to get started on a task and to overcome procrastination, even if they are reluctant to do the task.

When someone struggles with initiation, they take longer to do the task and require more effort.

Persons with FASD can struggle with task initiation which can manifest as:

 Strategies to promote better task initiation:

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Difficulties Carrying out a Plan of Action

Problems with successfully accomplishing tasks independently in people with FASD can occur due to difficulties with getting organised, planning tasks, managing or coping with the difficulty of the task.

Difficulties completing tasks can look like:

 Strategies to maximise task completion:

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Impulsivity (including poor inhibition and lack of self-control)

Being able to inhibit one’s behaviour is crucial in putting a brake on any undesirable or unwanted behaviour.

An example of such an unwanted behaviour is checking one’s phone rather than focusing on a task at hand. 

People who are impulsive can act before thinking things through adequately. People with FASD can have problems with impulsivity, including in the workplace. 

Impulsivity can mean:

Strategies to reduce impulsive behavior

John Doe, Organisation Name

Cognitive support 9 of 9

Self-Awareness and Insight

Being self-aware refers to knowing one’s own strengths, weaknesses, and habits.

Self-awareness in the workplace allows one to take in what is going on around them and to consider them more thoroughly. 

Self-awareness difficulties can include:

Strategies to promote self-awareness and insight

Employment Professionals and Employers: Reflections

The success an individual with FASD enjoys on their employment journey relies on your support and influence as the employment professional.

This places you at the center of the client’s employment experience. Hence, your ability to reflect on your practice can help you grow, learn and, in turn, better support clients with FASD as they transition out of the justice system and engage in more positive and fulfilling life experiences, such as work. 

Below is a reflective practice exercise suggestion for you which includes ideas of things that you may need to know and do to support the individual with FASD and a justice background on their employment journey. 



John Doe

Organisation name


Wesley Citizen is a 23-year-old man who was diagnosed with FASD as a child.

He is a very outgoing person of normal intelligence, however, makes poor decisions, acts impulsively and does not appear to learn from his mistakes. He has spent much of his time in and out of prison for committing illegal acts, some petty and some more serious than others.

Due to his history of illegal behavior, Wesley has missed significant periods of schooling and ceased school after Year 9.

In fact, he has always struggled at school with teachers commenting that he did not pay attention in class, was lazy and careless, disturbed his classmates and was behind his peers in developing his numeracy and literacy skills.

In prison, however, he has participated in educational and vocational programs.

He has developed excellent culinary skills which he is proud of.

Wesley has recently been released from prison and his parents have welcome him back home.

Wesley feels like he’s found a new lease on life and is determined to change his ways.

His goals are now to join a sports club, make new friends, find work in a restaurant, and hopefully have a family of his own. 

Wesley’s family home is located in a neighborhood that has a notoriously high rate of crimes.

His childhood friends who are his neighbors, have themselves been in prison for several crimes, some of them more serious than the ones committed by Wesley have heard of his recent release from prison.

They decide to visit Wesley to see if he will hang out.