The Marulu FASD Strategy recently launched their new book Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and complex trauma: A resource for educators. It was published by the Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre and can be downloaded here. The authors write that “this second edition acknowledges the role of complex trauma and its relationship to FASD and draws on new research about the effects of trauma on the developing brain and presents new insights on the interrelatedness of trauma and FASD”. This book contains detailed information about FASD and how it interacts with trauma, and provides many practical strategies for supporting young people with FASD in the classroom.

South Australia’s Department of Education has a comprehensive webpage on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder which can be accessed here. This page covers the education implications of FASD, managing FASD in education and care, supporting children and families with FASD and related resources. Of particular note, the website includes the following information:

  • Interoception: “Many children and young people on the FASD spectrum have low levels of interoception, which means they are unable to understand or connect with their bodies in ways that would enable them to self-regulate. It is important to integrate the teaching of interoception activities to develop interoceptive awareness. An interoception support plan HSP421 may be completed by the education or care service, family and the child or young person (where possible). This will provide a detailed understanding of the interoception issues and support the development of individualised strategies to increase interoception.”
  • Sensory overview: “Children and young people with FASD may show signs of being hyper-sensitive (feeling things too much) or hypo-sensitive (not feeling things enough) to the senses of touch, taste, smell, sight and sound.  They may be so focused on what they hear, see or feel on their skin that they can’t focus on other things. They they may shut down or act out as they try to stop the thing that is bothering them. The sensory overview support plan HSP431 should be completed by the education and care service in consultation with the parents and child or young person.  The sensory overview provides a detailed understanding of the individual sensory issues and assists in developing strategies to minimise sensory overload in the education or care setting.”
  • Regulation scale: “The regulation scale HSP432 is a tool that can be used for any child or young person to identify what is happening around them that is impacting on their mood change, what signals their body is giving them, and ways to respond to their body’s signals that will help them manage the change in mood.” The website provides instructions on how to use the regulation scale and shows completed examples.

This Government of South Australia webpage also contains useful templates including a Health Care Plan for Education which can be completed in collaboration between parents and schools, and which can contain detailed information on the best support strategies for each individual child.

Access the South Australian Government Department of Health FASD page here

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