Date
25 August 2019
FASD 002

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and learning

Targeted strategies for teachers to meet the multi-faceted needs of students living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

Terminology describing FASD is currently in flux as health professionals adopt new criteria for diagnosis. The guide will be updated with new terminology, resources, and processes as they are developed.

Understanding FASD

FASD is an umbrella term used to describe the range of brain-based impairments that result from exposure to alcohol in the womb.​

FASD is lifelong and often it is an invisible disability. A person with FASD will need support throughout each stage of their lives.

Summary of important concepts:

Strategies for action

Four targeted strategies to meet the multi-faceted needs of students living with FASD.

Show material for:

Identify needs and how to provide support

Get to know your student. Identify their interests and strengths. Use these to inform planning. Take an evidence-based approach to identify where they need support. Partner with the student, their whānau, and experts.

Video hosted on Youtube http://youtu.be/67aHbIAXvYY

Dan Dubovsky talks about the importance of looking for and utilising the incredible strengths our students with FASD possess.

Four suggestions for implementing this strategy:

  1. Ask the student what will help

    Includes:

    • Video
    • Resources
  2. Partner with whānau

    Includes:

    • Video
    • Resources
  3. Assessment and monitoring

    Includes:

    • Video
    • Resources
  4. Access support

    Includes:

    • Resources

​Support self-regulation and positive behaviour

Students with FASD may demonstrate significant differences in competencies across a range of areas. Teaching strategies need to be based on an ongoing assessment of student's skills, needs, and abilities, not assumptions related to age.

Four suggestions for implementing this strategy:

  1. Support sensory integration

    Includes:

    • Resources
  2. Support relating to others​

    Includes:

    • Video
    • Resources
  3. Support positive behaviour

    Includes:

    • Video
    • Resources
  4. Support numeracy and maths

    Includes:

    • Resources

Helpful classroom strategies years 1-8

Take a Universal Design for Learning approach. Design a classroom layout, and use teaching strategies that support students with FASD from the outset. Work closely with SENCOs, RTLB, and whānau.

I cannot change the way I was born, but you can help make my environment be a place where I can achieve success.

Six suggestions for implementing this strategy:

  1. ​Create structure

    Includes:

    • Video
    • Resources
  2. ​Support participation and confidence

    Includes:

    • Resources
  3. Support understanding

    Includes:

    • Video
    • Resources
  4. Support processing and organisation

    Includes:

    • Video
    • Resources
  5. ​​Provide options to create, learn and share

    Includes:

    • Resources
  6. Manage successful transitions

    Includes:

    • Video
    • Resources

Helpful classroom strategies years 9-13

Take a Universal Design for Learning approach. Design a classroom layout, and use teaching strategies that support students with FASD from the outset. Work closely with SENCOs, RTLB, and whānau.

Seven suggestions for implementing this strategy:

Key resources

Website

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Education strategies

This handbook supports teachers working with students who have FASD. It contains information to help identify students having difficulties, and strategies to support these students.

Publisher: National Organisation on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome UK

What educators need to know about FASD Working together to educate children in Manitoba with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

What educators need to know about FASD: Working together to educate children in Manitoba with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

This guide for teachers includes a description of FASD and strategies for supporting student learning and working with parents. These strategies may be helpful for students who are not diagnosed with FASD but who share some of the same learning needs.

Publisher: Healthy Child Manitoba Office + K – 12 Education

Website

Understanding FASD: A comprehensive guide for pre K-8 educators

An online guide designed for teachers, specialist teachers, and support staff that work with children from kindergarten to year 11. The guide addresses the impact of prenatal exposure to alcohol and how it affects student learning. It provides descriptions and classroom strategies that specifically support students with FASD. The guide is available as a PDF download.

Publisher: Duke University

FASD Strategies not solutions

FASD: Strategies not solutions

Read time: 95 min

This booklet provides strategies and suggestions for considering the sensory and behaviour needs, and life skills of children and youth affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. It is aimed at professionals and caregivers who already have a base understanding of FASD.

Publisher: Government of Alberta

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