Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD): An information and resource guide for educators

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD): An information and resource guide for educators

9 December 2014
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD): An information and resource guide for educators

Supporting school staff and the community to recognise, understand and work effectively with students living with FASD.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) is an umbrella term used to cover the range of possible birth defects and developmental issues caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol.

Understanding and addressing the needs of children and young people living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is a newly developed practical educational resource package. It is designed to support P-12 school leaders, teachers, Aboriginal educators and the broad school community to recognise, understand and work effectively with school students living with FASD.

The guide was written specifically to support educators across the Kimberley region of Western Australia to meet the complex needs of students living with this challenging and often difficult to diagnose set of disorders. The materials are also relevant for school communities throughout Australia.

The resources seek to provide teachers and their communities with an understanding of the needs of students living with FASD by:

  • defining FASD;
  • describing the common learning and behavioral characteristics of children living with FASD;
  • presenting evidence-based strategies that may be helpful in meeting the needs of these children and young people in schools and classrooms; and
  • providing links to further resources that will assist teachers with more comprehensive advice and support.

A core message throughout the guide is that educators and communities working together, within a strengths-based approach, can improve both the educational achievements and overall life outcomes of this vulnerable group of children and young people. The more that educators understand and know about FASD, the better able they are to adjust pedagogy and learning environments to create success and genuine school engagement for this group of children and young people.

The package of resources comprises:

  • a DVD – Tristan – the story of a Kimberley boy living with FASD;
  • a 40-page resource for teachers – Understanding and addressing the needs of children and young people living with FASD; and
  • two short videos that discuss successful interventions for students with FASD – one video discusses a powerful whole-school approach, and the other presents a scaffolding learning approach.

Visit the website for more information.

The CFCA information exchange has recently published a paper and a practice guide on this topic:

A webinar on supporting children and families affected by FASD will be held on 10 December - don't miss out, register today.

Image: Circle of Shadows (cropped), by John Morgan, CC BY 2.0.

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