FASD is an umbrella term that covers a range of neurodevelopment and physical abnormalities. Whilst alcohol can impact any part of the developing fetus’s development, it is always related to the development of the brain, and affects ten domains of brain development including cognition, language, memory, and executive function.
Estimates of general population rates of FASD in the United States range from 2% to as high as 5%, and an international meta-analysis put rates of prevalence in New Zealand at similar levels (about 21 per 1000).
FASD is an individualised diagnosis and no two people with FASD will present in the same way.Research has shown that supporting those with FASD begins with the recognition that the behaviour that is presenting is a form of communication and a representation of need, rather than a deliberate choice.
Students with FASD may experience difficulties with inattention, impulsivity, and decision making. They may struggle to remember what they have learned and been told, and have a slower processing speed, which means they require more time for thinking and completing their work. There are a number of evidence-based strategies that teachers and schools can use to support students with FASD.
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