FASD is often seen as just a brain based disorder; however, recent research has shown that the body can also be significantly impacted by prenatal alcohol exposure. This has resulted in changes to the definition (2019) and to the current recommendations and considerations when supporting students in our schools.
In a recent study, it was found that there was over 400 distinct diseases conditions that co-occur in people with FASD (Popova, 2016). As educators, it is important to consider the different body systems that could be playing a role in the challenges that our students are experiencing. For example, last year I supported a teacher who was having difficulties with a student which typically occured from lunch time to the end of the day. When looking closer at the behaviours, it was discovered that student was not eating their lunch during the time provided then was sent outside at the lunch bell. It turns out, that the student has difficulties eating at "normal" pace and was going hungry. When given the opportunity to start eating earlier and finish their lunch, their behaviours decreased.
This presentation will cover FASD 101 (what it is and what it might look like), a universal framework for supporting students with and suspected FASD, and evidence-based programs and activities to support the mind and body of individuals with FASD.
I have taught for 11 years in both elementary and secondary schools as a classroom and resource teacher. Through these experiences I have supported a wide variety of students, including those with FASD. For the past two years, I have been a teacher consultant with POPFASD and enjoyed the opportunity to take those in class experiences and perspectives and connect them with current research and recommendations to best support BC educators in utilizing an FASD-informed approach.