CanFASD ISSUE PAPER: CURRENT STRATEGIES AND EDUCATIONAL SUPPORTS FOR STUDENTS WITH FASD
Students with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) can benefit both their educational and personal lifestyles with the help of educational supports and individualized program plans/individualized education plans (IPPs/IEPs) while attending school. Educational supports include readily available strategies and resources, such as teachers, educational assistants (EAs), administration, and repetitive visual and verbal cues, that help improve the learning outcomes of students with various disabilities. IPPs are student-specific plans designed to implement these educational supports effectively.
Despite educational supports being available in most school systems, current educational strategies are often outdated, too generalized, and lack the accessible information teachers need to prepare ideal IPPs for students with FASD. Moreover, Millar and colleagues observed that children with FASD who received insufficient supports were at risk for a number of secondary adverse outcomes, including dropping out of school, involvement with the criminal justice system, mental health issues, and substance use problems.
Additionally, community support is generally very poor for individuals with FASD and their caregivers, with many parents lacking the knowledge, understanding, and resources to handle the developmental disabilities associated with FASD. Despite these inadequate resources, most diagnoses, supports, and interventions come from within school systems, strengthening the importance of improving and revising educational supports to enhance learning outcomes for students with FASD.