Date
19 February 2019

Support relating to others

Children with FASD are often developmentally younger than their chronological age, and as a result their behaviour may be misinterpreted.

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Social stories and scripts

Social stories and scripts

Create multiple opportunities for students to practise how to communicate and manage themselves in social situations.

Repetition helps embed skills and builds confidence and understanding.

Targeted social-skills teaching

Targeted social-skills teaching

A student with FASD may be able to tell you the steps for a skill but that does not mean they understand it. It is important they practise them.

Follow these steps for teaching a new skill.

  • Identify the skill to focus on – keep it simple.

  • Teach, review, reteach – use a range of techniques, for example, social stories, structured stories.

  • Model and role-play – practise in real-life settings.

  • Provide feedback, reminders, and supervision.

  • Transition from a structured teaching session to everyday situations with supervision.

  • Make certain that the student with FASD has someone to check with if they forget what to do.

Source: Making a difference: Working with students who have fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (opens in a new tab/window)

Buddy system

Buddy system

Use a buddy system at break and lunchtimes to provide companionship and support.

Buddy systems can be used to promote interactions that support students to learn social skills. Provide buddies with training on how to help students develop specific skills, such as joining in a game.

Set up your system to provide a group of buddies. This gives the student with FASD exposure to a range of peers and ensures buddies are not overwhelmed.

Provide supervised activities or games at break and lunchtimes for students to join with or without a buddy.

Respecting personal boundaries

Respecting personal boundaries

Teach students about personal space and appropriate distances from others.

  • Be very specific, using visual and kinesthetic cues.
  • Practise in real-life settings.
  • Explain and role-play appropriate and inappropriate touching.
  • Put tape around the floor of each child’s desk so that other children know not to enter another student’s space without their expressed permission. This sets the stage for understanding personal boundaries.
  • Explain and demonstrate boundaries for the teacher’s desk and equipment.

Source: Making a difference: Working with students who have fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (opens in a new tab/window)

Respecting other people’s property

Respecting other people’s property

Teach the concept of ownership by marking each student’s possessions (this includes bags, equipment, and books) with a symbol that stands for that person alone. If that possession does not have the student’s symbol (or name) on it, it does not belong to the student.

Teach children how to ask to borrow something and have them practise the words they can use. These words can become part of the school rules. When each class uses the same words, students with FASD do not have to generalise in order to comply with the rule.

Source: Making a Difference: Working with students who have fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (opens in a new tab/window)

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “​Support self-regulation and positive behaviour”:

Return to the guide “Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and learning”

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