Understanding Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

HomeSchool resourcesNeurodiversityUnderstanding Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

Understanding Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

HomeSchool resourcesNeurodiversityUnderstanding Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

It is estimated that 2-5% of the population has Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), meaning that most teachers will knowingly or unknowingly come across children in their classes who are living with FASD. FASD affects individuals in different ways, but can include complex physical, behavioural, social, learning and intellectual differences that persist throughout the lifespan.
In this webinar, Kim Milne, Principal Advisor at FASD-CAN (FASD Care-Action-Network) and mother to a son with FASD, talks to us about what FASD is, how it affects children and adolescents, and what teachers and schools can do to support children with FASD.

To help you navigate the webinar easily, there is a list of the key topics covered in the session below, including the time each was discussed. The key ideas discussed in this webinar are also shared in a short insight article.

Topics discussed in this webinar

3.13 What is FASD?
4.16 How prevalent is FASD?
7.14 Challenging assumptions about FASD and maternal alcoholism
8.08 What are the characteristics of FASD?
10.11
KISSSSSS communication strategy
12.35 (also 31.10) Common misdiagnoses and co-morbidities
17.55 How the differences between expressive and receptive language can be confusing and the importance of testing comprehension
20.15 Approaches to supporting children with FASD
24.35 ‘Executive fuel’ and spoon theory
27.17 Learner Profiles and sensory processing differences
28.38 Heightened threat perception
30.22 Similarities and differences with ADHD and autism
34.00 Understanding children, their limitations, and the impacts for self-esteem
35.21 How is FASD diagnosed
43.24 Brain domains assessed in FASD diagnosis

Questions for exploring the key ideas from this webinar

What simple accommodations might you introduce to support all students, and especially those who have challenges with executive function, communication, or sensory processing?

What do you know about Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and how could you find out more?

Among the children or students you teach, are there any who have or would benefit from a Learner Profile?

How can you support children or students that have challenges with learning to retain high self-esteem?

Further resources

The Education Hub’s research review on FASD, which can be found here.

TKI’s guide on Understanding FASD which includes influences on learning and strategies for action for teachers.

Key Facts about FASD for Educators‘, which provides neurodevelopmental information for teachers to be able to understand the differences between symptoms and behaviours, and how best to accommodate both. 

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and early life trauma – What early childhood educators need to know provides a wealth of information about trauma-informed approaches to supporting children with FASD and their families.

The National Organisation for FASD Australia’s range of multimedia resources for early childhood educators can also be shared with families.

There are many more resources and links to explore on FASD-CAN’s website.


 

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