Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a prevalent neurodevelopmental disability with significant implications for learning and behavior. International research suggests that the prevalence of FASD in school-aged children is 2.3–6.3%.
In this paper, we address the questions:
(1) what is FASD;
(2) what is the prevalence of FASD in schools;
(3) what is the impact of FASD; and
(4) why develop special FASD education strategies and programs?
We summarize the 18-year history of Winnipeg School Division’s development of its FASD Program of services, describe the specialized FASD classrooms and then present the results from a consensus-generating workshop comprised of 36 FASD education professionals, with over 209 years of collective FASD education program experience, who were asked to identify and reach consensus on best strategies and lessons learned in FASD education pro- grammes. We then suggest that effectively educating children with FASD is critical to get right if positive educational outcomes are to be realized.
‘If FASD includes changes in the structure and function of the brain, then it follows that it is by definition a brain-based physical disability. In most cases, however, it is invisible, and behaviours are typically the only symptoms. Understanding FASD as a primary physical disability with behavioural symptoms redefines problems and solutions in a manner consistent with research’ (Malbin cited in Jonsson, Dennitt and Littlejohn, 2009, p. 71).
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This scholarly article was published by Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs Volume 17 Number 1 2017 3–17 doi: 10.1111/1471-3802.12090, published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of NASEN.