Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Program
What is FASD?
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. 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. (FASD Ontario)
Each individual with FASD is unique and has areas of both strengths and challenges. Challenges can occur in the following areas of development:
- Physical – birth defects and motor skills
- Mental – cognitive, memory, decision making
- Behavioural – angry outbursts, trouble getting along in the world
- Learning – poor school performance, trouble with abstract thinking
Individuals with FASD often struggle with:
- Understanding and processing information more slowly
- Abstract concepts such as time, money and organization skills are difficult
- Getting in trouble a lot (especially for doing things before thinking about them)
- Problems paying attention and focusing on things that aren’t interesting to them
- Language – often use bigger words than they fully understand
- Sensory overload (easily stimulated by things like bright lights, noises, certain fabrics & smells)
- Social challenges with peers and frequently get along better with younger children
- Poor working memory
- Not learning from mistakes or consequences
FASD Program Description
The FASD program provides support to families of children and youth with FASD or suspected FASD, while also providing education and awareness within the community.
A child or youth is eligible for the program if:
- They are under the age of 18, or between 18 and 21 and still in school
- They have a formal diagnosis of FASD or have a suspected FASD or FASD-like symptoms.
What can I expect as a parent or caregiver?
- FASD Coordinators can provide individualized training on Brain Differences and help parents develop strategies to manage some of the challenging behaviours
- Monthly newsletters with parent tips, local and provincial training opportunities & resources
- Caregiver workshops
- Access to information and resources
- FASD Coordinators can support parents & caregivers at school meetings and coordinate services with other providers
How to make a referral
To make a referral to the program, please contact an FASD Coordinator directly at:
Phone: 519-371-4773, ext 194 or ext 196
Service providers are welcome to connect with an FASD coordinator for resources, training or consultation.
For more local resources and information, please view the Thinking Differently document HERE.