FASD: the basics for ALL professionals

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a diagnostic term used to describe impacts on the brain and body of individuals prenatally exposed to alcohol. FASD is a lifelong disability and it's estimated that between 3-5% of babies born in Aotearoa annually will have FASD.

Individuals with FASD will experience some degree of challenges in their daily living, and need support with motor skills, physical health, learning, memory, attention, communication, emotional regulation, and social skills to reach their full potential.

Each individual with FASD is unique and has areas of both strengths and challenges. 

In Aotearoa / New Zealand, we are sadly behind other parts of the world in terms of specific resources for professionals who may routinely deal with individuals with FASD, but there is a wealth of resource internationally – particularly in Canada, America, Australia and the UK.

Australian and Canadian studies are comparable with New Zealand because of our similar social/alcohol cultures and indigenous populations (which adds complex implications for colonisation and historical trauma in all countries mentioned).  

In these tabs you'll find some specific information on FASD for frontline professionals.

Below there are a few essential resources for ALL frontline professionals to begin with when interacting with individuals with FASD.

This excellent 3-minute video from Canada's wonderful Asante Centre is worth watching for quickly getting up to speed. It's narrated by Katrina Griffin, a member of the Changemakers, a group of Canadian adults with FASD who consult and talk globally about the disorder.