FASD is a permanent, organic neurodevelopmental condition that impairs an individual’s ability to integrate information and effectively manage the demands of their world. It can mimic or co-occur with mental health disorders complicating our response to their learning, behaviour and parenting needs. This contributes to high prevalence rates of children with FASD in care, in specialized education programs, involved in the criminal justice system, and services for the marginalized and vulnerable (Streissguth and Sampson 1996, 1997; Fast and Conry 2000; May 2004).
Improving the understanding of FASD provides an opportunity to make practical modifications to programs and service models (Burns and Bloom 2012). This training will examine strengths and impairments across multiple brain domains impacted by prenatal exposure to alcohol: attention, processing, memory, cognition, sensory, executive/adaptive function, social communication, sleep and affect and emotional regulation (FASD Canadian Diagnostic Guidelines 2015). Participants will be introduced to a framework that identifies unique profiles of individuals prenatally exposed to alcohol, demonstrating the diverse expression of the condition. This will inform interactive discussions on practical and creative accommodations and scaffolding that will reshape our thinking and refocus our efforts towards effective practice (Boys C. et al 2016).
1) Understand terminology and process for diagnosing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
2) Recognize the cluster of primary areas of disability
3) Explain factors that contribute to secondary disorders and adverse outcomes
4) Identify effective accommodations and scaffolding approaches
5) Describe creative environmental supports for home, school and the community