Authors and Affiliations
Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, and School of Public Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia: Peter d’Abbs
School of Public Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia: Nicole Hewlett
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is a major source of neurodevelopmental impairment among both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. Its effects are experienced not only by families directly affected, but also in health, education, child protection, youth and criminal justice systems. Nationally, the prevalence of FASD is poorly documented and services for prevention, diagnosis and treatment are inadequately resourced. In the case of remote Aboriginal communities, the challenges inherent in diagnosing FASD are compounded by the costs of delivering specialist services to remote settings. In recent decades, several Aboriginal communities have taken the initiative and developed community-led programs for assessing the prevalence of FASD, creating culturally appropriate education and support services, and developing capacity to diagnose FASD in primary health care settings. This chapter describes these initiatives and considers the implications for other communities and policy-makers.