FASD and the education system

If you have tamariki / children who with FASD and they are at school, then as caregivers, parents, grandparents and whānau, you will need to advocate strongly for them to enable them to live their best lives.

It can be helpful and empowering to be FASD-informed for this reason: you know your child best – what works and doesn't work for them – and if you can have informed discussions with staff, it's likely to have better outcomes.

There is no doubt that if tamariki with FASD can see the school years through there will be better life outcomes generally, so it's extremely important to begin interventions as early as possible. 

If tamariki or rangatahi have suspected or diagnosed FASD, the school must be informed, and the first contact is likely to be your child's school SENCO – Special Education Needs Coordinator. (You'll come across lots of acronyms in education – there's a quick guide in the tab below.)

An essential and excellent resource is the Te Kete Ipurangi inclusive education page. Here you'll find everything you need to know about what's available for special needs students at every level of education, including funding. 

PLEASE NOTE: for kaiako / teachers, SENCOs and RTLBS we have an Information for Educators page which is helpful for teachers to begin an understanding of how your FASD ākonga / student  may behave and learn differently. Do pass this link on to your child's teacher so you can work together and be on the same page – the best outcomes happen when whānau and teachers have an open pathway to communication (although sadly this may not always be the case).