A new initiative to support Aotearoa's educators
Education is an important part of life for any tamariki or rangitahi, but even more so for vulnerable ākonga/students with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), who often struggle in a kura environment. Research by the University of Auckland has shown that Aotearoa’s kaiako/teachers are looking for more information and training about best practice to support their learners with FASD.
Thanks to the support of the Sutherland Self-Help Funding Trust, we are now able to provide that training for our dedicated and very busy kaiako.
Click here to download an interactive pānui / flyer about the group.
We'd love it if you could please help us spread the word and share this with your colleagues!
FASD in education
The Ministry of Health has conservatively estimated that between 3-5% of the population each year is born with FASD in Aotearoa. This makes FASD the most common neurodisability in the world. It is also more prevalent in society than autism, Down syndrome and cerebal palsy – combined.
Ministry of Education data tell us there has been a mean average of 56,600 of age 5 new entrants enrolled in New Zealand schools over the 2020 to 2022 years. Using the Ministry of Health prevalence parameters, this means that educators will be welcoming between 1,698 and 2,830 children with FASD into Aotearoa’s schools each and every year.
This means that whatever your role in the education sector, you are going to come across FASD learners at some point in your career, and you are going to need to know how to best support their learning and involvement in the school environment.
About the course
The aim of this course is to assist all educators engaged in teaching FASD ākonga to feel more confident and better able to address the multiple needs of these neurodiverse learners.
The subtitle of the course, ‘Kete into Practice’ reflects the intention that the course will be very practically-based. While it is relevant for all people in the education sector, it has been particularly designed with teachers and teacher aides in mind.
Many educators have some general knowledge about FASD and its associated symptoms, and of the learning and behavioural challenges these pose. But in a busy classroom/school environment where many neurodiverse learners need support and attention, kaiako have indicated they want practical examples and suggestions of how to realistically implement new strategies in a ‘real-world’ setting of limited resources and competing demands.
The learning objectives for the course are:
- an increased knowledge about FASD and how the symptoms of this neurodisability impact on the learning and behaviour of FASD ākonga.
- an increased knowledge of FASD-informed and brain-based strategies and interventions that can be applied in the akomanga (classroom) and kura environments.
- practical examples from other kaiako of how they have used and integrated FASD-informed and brain-based strategies and interventions in a real-life class or school setting.
- identified issues to raise and discuss within their kura that can improve the inclusion of FASD ākonga and how to best meet their complex needs.
- identified areas for future personal development that will enhance their knowledge and ability to meet the needs of neurodiverse learners within the vision of a modern, inclusive approach to education.
The course comprises 10 modules of 1-1.5 hours duration. The course will be delivered to registered participants via Zoom in terms two and three of the school year, and participants will receive a digital copy of the presentation handouts after each course session.
You don't have to attend every module – but you will get the most out of the course if you do. At the end of the course, if you have attended all 10 training sessions you will receive a Certificate of Attendance.
When and how?
The training course will take place on a Thursday fortnightly schedule between 3:30 pm and 5:00 pm. We have arranged the training delivery schedule to avoid school term breaks.
Once you have registered for the training you will receive a confirmation email with a list of training dates – please schedule them into your diaries well in advance. A Zoom link for each of the 10 modules will be sent to you a day or two before the date of the session via the email address you supply in your registration form.
The first module will be delivered on Thursday 27 April 2023.
We know educators are busy people but we do hope you can find the time once a fortnight to attend and take advantage of this practical learning opportunity!
There are no eligibility criteria to take part in this free training for educators. However, a requirement of registration is that you do not share your Zoom link with other people who have not registered with us for the course.
If you have any questions about the course or want to know more, please contact Kim Milne via [email protected].
To take part in this free training please fill in the registration form (there are only two questions we need for future ref apart from your contact details) – all further info will be in your confirmation email.
Please note: by registering for this training you are consenting to receive occasional newsletters from us – you can unsubscribe from these at any point.