WRaP 2.0: Foundations in FASD

A key to supporting students with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) is having a good understanding of FASD and how individuals with FASD are impacted. Foundations of FASD provides an explanation of FASD, its impact on the brain as well as explores behavioural patterns in students with FASD. Strategies for designing classroom instruction and routines to support students with FASD are also highlighted. Supporting Students with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders FASD provides clear explanations of how prenatal alcohol exposure affects brain development. It explores the difference between brain structure and brain function and provides educators with strategies for becoming active problem solvers. Additionally, it explores behavioural patterns and how prenatal exposure to alcohol impacts the brain’s ability to regulate mood, emotion, and reactions to stress.

FASD is a prevalent disorder, vastly outnumbering other common developmental disabilities; however, FASD comes with relatively little public recognition or understanding. Recent research points to a much higher rate of FASD than was initially estimated, and with improved methods of detection, these numbers continue to rise. Although FASD prevalence rates vary widely across countries and populations, and are considered to be conservative, the current best estimate in the general Canadian population is 4%.

There are significantly higher rates in special groups, such as those involved in the child welfare and justice systems. FASD prevalence research is important not only for understanding the scale of the issue in our communities, but also for making decisions about funding and resource allocation, and for monitoring the effectiveness of prevention efforts. As well, with improved knowledge about special populations that may be at a particularly high risk for PAE or FASD, intervention efforts may be targeted to reduce the number of new cases of FASD and to support healthy outcomes for individuals and families who are already affected.