#094 Pascal Gagné: FASD and Sexuality

fasd success show Feb 05, 2022

Few topics can divide people or make them so uncomfortable that they don’t talk about them. Sexuality is one of them. It is so stigmatized. It isn’t talked about enough. Ignoring the reality won’t make it go away, says Pascal Gagné, my guest on today’s show.  

Given that inappropriate sexual behavior (ISB) is displayed by 45-52% of adults with FASD, and can present issues that split families up, this is a topic caregivers should pay as much attention to as other important life skills. 

Pascal  Gagné  is the FASD Team Lead at Health Nexus (Ontario, Canada). He oversees the provincial FASD initiatives. Before this position, Pascal was the FASD Research Lead at ABLE2 (Ottawa). He also teaches classes at various universities and colleges.  

A lot of people with FASD need things to be explained to them multiple times before they understand, and so they can process the information. Back in the day, my parents sat me on the couch and said, “now you are old enough we are going to talk about sex and let’s never speak of it again.”  We can’t do that with people with FASD. 

Pascal and I talk about what we do know, what works, how do we prevent ISB, how do we set families up for success. We cover: 

  • Since there is little research, experts or FASD informed services to guide people what you can do as a caregiver. 
  • How the Trauma of FASD and root causes of behaviour translates into vulnerability for individuals. 
  • Tips, ideas, and strategies to set people up for success, healthy relationships and safety for individuals and families. 

So much of FASD supports are crisis led. People don’t get the diagnosis they need, the support they need and there is stigma, so they don’t reach out. By mentioning sexuality in your everyday life, and making it part of your routine, just like talking about hygiene, mental health, employment, and housing, etc. you plan.  

I know this may have been an uncomfortable topic for many. I hope after listening to the podcast we have given you tools and ideas to help make it easier. There are also website suggestions in the Show Notes below to help guide you.  


Show Notes: 

Ontario Provincial: FASD Website 


Websites (please contact us if you require French language sites): 

Sex and U 

Teaching Sexual Health 

Stop It Now 



Safe Sex Video for teaching positive safe sex messages for people with intellectual disabilities. To download the accompanying booklet, click Safe Sex Booklet. 

Check out our website:  FASD Success 

Check out the FASD Success Facebook Page:  FASD Caregiver Success 

Join our Private Facebook Group: FASD Caregiver Success Group 

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