Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and complex trauma A resource for educators

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Click here to download the resource.

Audience and purpose

This practical education resource is designed to support schools, educators and community members to recognise, understand and work effectively in schools with students with FASD and complex trauma. While the resource has been written for educators and school communities in Western Australia, the materials are also relevant for all school communities across Australia.

Schools in the Kimberley play an important role in developing strong relationships between key health and education professionals, the community, and families, to create successful community engagement frameworks that underpin the comprehensive strategies required to address the needs of these groups.

New research provides a compelling evidence base about how ongoing exposure to trauma can change the brain in ways that impede a person’s ability to function. Most Indigenous people experience the many effects of colonisation as ongoing trauma. The incidence of FASD in the Kimberley needs to be seen in the context of this ongoing intergenerational trauma.

Accurate data now available about children and young people with FASD in the context of intergenerational trauma provides us with evidence to inform responses and plan strategies to address the needs of these children.

This resource seeks to provide educators and the communities they serve with an understanding of the needs of students with trauma and FASD by: „

  • ‘understanding trauma and its effects
  • defining FASD
  • describing the common learning and behavioural characteristics of children with FASD
  • presenting evidence-based strategies that may be helpful in meeting the complex needs of these children and young people
  • providing links to further resources that will assist teachers with more comprehensive advice and support.

The material presented has been informed by:

  • local, national and international research and evidence
  • advice provided by educators with experience in working with students with FASD and trauma
  • current effective practices and adjustments designed to meet the needs of this significant group of students.

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