Main Article Content
fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, fasd, education, special needs, intervention, inclusion
Published data and Canadian population reports suggest that approximately 1% of students in Toronto may have learning problems related to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs). It is therefore imperative to understand how the needs of affected students are being met by various practitioners in their school environment. To date no comprehensive follow-up studies on FASD-affected children, families and educators in Toronto public schools are available. Documentation of school experiences associated with FASDs is needed to aid in developing appropriate and efficient intervention models for FASDs.
Identify and document needs as related to school capacities and education practitioner capabilities with respect to their abilities to support children diagnosed with FASDs.
A qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews was utilized for this exploratory pilot study. Twelve practitioners from various disciplines, all of whom work for Toronto public schools participated.
Participants represented approximately 3500 students enrolled amongst their schools and classrooms. Only one respondent reported having worked with a child diagnosed with an FASD during their career. Education practitioners commonly report a lack of knowledge of FASDs and how to appropriately plan for affected children.
Practitioners need additional supports in order to address FASDs in their schools. As this is the first pilot study on FASDs in the Ontario school system, further study is warranted.
2. Sussman R, Koren G. Attenuating the Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure with Postnatal Interventions: Critical Review of Animal Studies and Applications to Clinical Research. JFAS Int 2006:4; e13.
3. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Public Health Agency of Canada, 2007. Publication #4226, ISBN 978-0-662-69732-9. www.publichealth.gc.ca/fasd
4. Nash K, Sheard ED, Rovet J, Koren G. Understanding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Toward Identification of a Behavioural Phenotype. The Scientific World Journal 2008: 8; 873-882.
5. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: The Preventable Disability. A Community Capacity Building Project, 2006. Children’s Aid Society of Toronto and The Catholic Children’s Aid Society. Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services. Copies may be requested at www.TorontoCAS.ca/publications.
6. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Frequently Asked Questions. Best Start website: http://www.beststart.org
7. Cunningham M. Building Educational Success for Students with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Toronto District School Board. 2008.
8. Stade B, Ali A, Bennett D, Campbell D, Johnston M, Lens C, Tran S, Koren G. The Burden of Prenatal Exposure to Alcohol: Revised Measurement of Cost. Canadian Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 2009:16(1); e91-e102.
9. Mountford EA. The Golden Hoop of Life: A Community of Hope. Janetville, Ontario: Author published: (email@example.com).
10. Moore TE, Green M. (2004). Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD): A need for Closer Examination by the Criminal Justice System. Criminal Reports, 19(1):99-108.
11. What Educators Need to Know about FASD: Working Together to Educate Children in Manitoba with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (2009). Winnipeg, Manitoba: Manitoba Healthy Child Initiative & Education, Citizenship and Youth Cataloguing in Publication Data. firstname.lastname@example.org
12. Reach to Teach; Educating Elementary and Middle School Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (2007). Educators’ package, Toronto District School Board Special Education Conference, January 2009. Published by the Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (www.samhsa.gov).
13. Goodman D, Lwin K. (2008). Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Respite Pilot Program: Community Based Branches. Children’s Aid Society of Toronto. Request copies at: www.TorontoCAS.ca/publications.
14. Loock C, Conry J, Cook JL, Chudley AE, Rosales T. Identifying Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Primary Care. Canadian Medical Association Journal 2005:172(5): 628-30.