Assessment and diagnosis helps to inform and guide supports for students with FASD.
As part of an FASD informed program, WRaP understands and recognizes that FASD is a brain-based medical diagnosis due to in utero exposure to alcohol. As a result of the disability of an affected brain, those with FASD may have disruptions related to development in their cognition, learning and memory, attention, problem solving, language, and social-emotional skills. These disruptions may manifest and can result in undesirable outcomes in school that include academic struggles and disengagement leading to discipline concerns and even dropping out of school. WRaP recognizes that despite the struggles due to the disabilities that people living with FASD also possess individual strengths and capabilities and with appropriately tailored supports can and do experience success.
Supporting Students with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Watch 3 short video modules to support a brain-based understanding of FASD: http://www.engagingalllearners.ca/il/supporting-students-with-fasd/#sthash.dRqLVRxW.dpuf
Consider Developmental Age versus Chronological Age
Often, there is a mismatch between chronological age and developmental age for students with FASD, while maintaining an understanding that each student with FASD has individual strengths and struggles. This can be a helpful tool to familiarize yourself with chronological and developmental ages and stages, but is not intended to explain all behaviours of all children with FASD. FASD is a spectrum of varying strengths, capacities and abilities. All children develop at an individual and unique pace.
Support the Implementation of Assessment Recommendations
Assessment reports are a great source of information on the student’s individual strengths and brain-based struggles. Assessment and diagnostic reports often offer explanations to struggles and support a shift to a brain-based understanding of the student’s individual needs. WRaP has learned that a team approach is an effective and efficient approach for supporting students with FASD, and also for implementing assessment recommendations. Through collaborative partnerships with families and schools, students can benefit from wraparound supports aimed at supporting the student’s individualized learning needs.