Simplicity – Remember to Keep it Short and Sweet (KISS method). Individuals with FASD are easily over-stimulated, leading to “shutdown” at which point no more information can be assimilated. Therefore, a simple environment is the foundation for an effective school program.
Saskatchewan, like other provinces, does not collect specific data on how many people have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).
The Canada FASD Research Network (CanFASD) is launching the first national database, and first globally, on the disorder.
The database will gather information from 25 diagnostic clinics across the country. This information will then be used to lobby governments in the development of healthcare policy.
“This way we can look at many people across Canada and say that this is a condition that affects these areas of brain development and may also affect things like physical impairments like cleft palates or other kinds of health issues,” CanFASD executive director Audrey McFarlane said.
“We think we know about these things right now because of anecdotal information and things that caregivers tell their physicians, but we haven’t been able to collect that information over time to really show whether those are regional differences or whether it’s national.”
Once the information is gathered, McFarlane said it will be able to help physicians see FASD as a whole body disorder instead of just specific brain dysfunction.
Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Health says it is looking forward to being able to use data gathered by the CanFASD database.
The FASD Network of Saskatchewan delivers a number of programs to help families affected by the disorder. This year they are receiving an additional $78,000 in provincial funding. Their face-to-face family program will also soon be offered in Regina as well as Saskatoon.
McFarlane said that data will likely be publicly updated every six months so it can start to be revealed exactly how many people have certain mental health issues, physical ailments and if they were exposed to other substances like tobacco and marijuana before birth.
Supports for children and youth are most effective when they are relationally-based. Relationally-based supports benefit all children and youth, especially those living with FASD. Encouraging and supporting positive relationships with teachers, mentors, family and friends contributes to positive social experiences and opportunities for mentorship and modelling of appropriate behavior.
Supporting children and youth with FASD also begins with understanding FASD as a brain-based disability and a medical diagnosis, which ultimately informs strategies for successful interventions.
Retrieved from http://wrapschools.ca/support-4-students-success-cg.php
Although there have been thousands of published articles on FASD, there remains to be limited research specifically on adolescents and adults with FASD. As individuals diagnosed with FASD continue to age, the “need to know” across a broad spectrum of areas continues to be critically important for identifying clinically relevant research questions and directions. Continuing on the work of seven previous conferences, there remains a clear need to examine relevant global research, programs and policies.
What does existing or emerging research tell us? Are the results transferable from country to country and/or from laboratory to real life? Are there clinical implications of results from any of these areas of which we should be aware? What are the changes in our thinking, practice and directions that will be required to improve outcomes? What are the implications for the future?
This interactive 2018 conference provided an opportunity to be at the forefront of addressing these relevant global issues.
To see the conference presentations and webcasts please click here
The Government of Canada plans to legalize cannabis on October 17, 2018, which will allow Canadians over the age of 18 to possess and use the drug legally. But this decision does not mean that cannabis use is safe. Research shows that cannabis can impair a person’s concentration, memory, judgement, and reaction time, and cause tiredness, confusion, panic, fear, and anxiety.1
With more social and political attention on cannabis, the issue of cannabis use during pregnancy is becoming a “hot topic” for women, health care providers, and researchers.
- Cannabis use among Canadian women increased from 7% in 2013 to 11% in 20152
- Cannabis is the most commonly used recreational drug by women during pregnancy.3
- 11-14% of women in recent studies reported cannabis use during the first trimester4,5
- THC crosses the placenta and accumulates in breastmilk, both of which can affect a baby6
Although many women believe there is little to no risk of recreational cannabis use while pregnant, it can affect a child’s growth and development. There is not a lot of consistent research in the area, so findings should be interpreted with caution. However, cannabis use has been shown in some studies to have negative consequences before, during, and after pregnancy.7
Before pregnancy, cannabis use can:
- Change the female menstrual cycle
- Lower sperm count in males
- Make it difficult to get pregnant
During pregnancy, cannabis use can:
- Lower oxygen and nutrient supply to the baby
- Restrict the baby’s physical growth
- Lead to premature birth, miscarriage, and stillbirth
After pregnancy, cannabis use can:
- Affect early mother-baby attachment and other aspects of parenting (if the mother continues to use)
- Lead to challenges in children who were exposed in the womb
- Brain development (e.g., IQ, memory, and learning)
- Hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsivity
- Future substance use
Expert opinion is that there is no safe amount of cannabis use during pregnancy. Women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding are strongly encouraged to avoid cannabis of any form to protect their child from potential harm.
For More Information:
CanFASD has several resources on cannabis use during pregnancy:
The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction published this 2015 report on maternal use of cannabis during pregnancy.
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada recently released a public awareness campaign to educate women on the possible consequences of using cannabis while pregnant or breastfeeding. Watch the short clip below for a brief introduction, and access the full site here.
- Health Canada. (2017). Health effects of cannabis.
- Health Canada. (2017). Canadian Tobacco Alcohol and Drugs (CTADS): 2015 summary.
- Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. (2015). Clearing the smoke on cannabis: Maternal cannabis use during pregnancy – an update.
- Goldschmidt, L., Richardson, G. A., Cornelius, M. D., & Day, N. L. (2004). Prenatal marijuana and alcohol exposure and academic achievement at age 10. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 26(4), 521-532.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2013). Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Rockville, MD: SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality
- The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. (2018). Pregnancy info (cannabis campaign).
- Best Start Resource Centre. (2017). Risks of cannabis on fertility, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and parenting.
Did you miss our meeting this morning? No worries, check out our minutes! Click to download: July 2018 Meeting Minutes