Why education considerations are important
- FASD is a permanent, brain-based disorder that requires lifelong interventions and support. FASD can be a whole body disorder.
- Students with FASD frequently have physical and health issues that occur more frequently and at earlier ages than normal. These issues could be contributing to a student’s ability to learn.
- There are thousands of students living with FASD in Ontario schools (May et al., 2014).
- It is important that educators and allied professionals have the tools to appropriately meet the needs of students with FASD with or without diagnosis
- It’s vital to build capacity within the education system through collaboration with families and the community to respond appropriately to the diverse needs of students with FASD
- We need to be aware and implement new ideas in our continuing efforts to improve the capacity to provide effective interventions and supports for students with FASD
Behavioural Characteristics of Students with FASD
You Are Seeing This In Your Classroom…
Documenting School Supports
Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)
Websites and Videos
Publications and Books
Other Suggested Reading
FASD Diagnostic Terms
As you learn about FASD you will encounter many formal and informal diagnostic terms depending on a variety of factors such as:
- whether the information is from Canadian or American sources
- the level of FASD expertise in the person who used the terms
- and whether a person being discussed has a recent diagnosis or one from several years ago.
Here are some of the terms you might find or hear, and what they mean:
The Canadian Diagnostic Guidelines – New in 2015
Since there is more work to be done on FASD diagnosis the word Guideline is currently in use.
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) with Sentinel Facial Features
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) without Sentinel Facial Features
- PAE/ND – This designation means this individual is considered as at risk for having a neurodevelopmental disorder and FASD associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. (PAE)
This is not a diagnosis but a term given to individuals, especially very young children, considered to be at risk for FASD and therefore in need of immediate FASD-informed interventions and supports while waiting for further diagnostic developments later in life.
Other FASD Terms that you may hear:
- FAS – Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- pFAS -Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- ARND- Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder
- ARBD – Alcohol Related Birth Defects
- A variety of terms which have mostly fallen out of use, Eg. FAE (Fetal Alcohol Effects)
For more Canadian FASD Diagnostic information please go to:
- Diagnostic Information on the FASD ONE website at : http://fasdontario.ca/?s=diagnosis
- The CANFASD website at: https://canfasd.ca/researchers/diagnosis/
Members of the FASD ONE Education Action Group (EAG) recommend the following resources to help all kinds of educators at any level who are supporting students with a FASD diagnosis, or students where FASD is suspected. These resources will also be useful for other brain-based conditions.
Every effort has been made to use URLs that were current at the time of posting. In some cases
multiple URLs are provided as the source of these good resources can switch over time. Most of these resources can be downloaded and/or printed at the URL included with the resource.
Person First Language
It is important to use Person-First Language when talking about a student with FASD. There are many FASD resources. However, some resources may use objectionable language that increases the stigma associated with having FASD. Although many resources are sincere and written from people’s hearts with the best of intentions some phrases such as ‘FASD students/kids’, ‘FASD families’, ‘suffering from’, ‘afflicted with’ or ‘victims of’ will be encountered. Resources with this kind of wording should be studiously avoided and not passed along to others. There are no ‘FASD students’, just like there are no ‘cancer students’, – only ‘students who have’ or ‘who are affected by FASD’. For more information please see: Language Guide, Promoting dignity for those impacted by FASD.
The Looking After Each Other Project, November 2016. This is a short, printable resource which can be found at: