FASD Intervention:

CanFASD’s prevention team weighs in on Nunavut’s new FASD prevention posters

Originally posted on Girls, Women, Alcohol, and Pregnancy:

CBC News screenshot

A new campaign from the territorial government of Nunavut is getting some media attention. (See the coverage in the Huffington Post here and CBC here).

The posters, in English and in Inuktitut, read “Baby or the bottle? Pregnant women should never drink alcohol.”

The campaign was designed by Iqaluit-based graphic design company Atiigo Media Inc. According to the Huffington Post article, the image was inspired by a poster campaign from Russia (which I blogged about here in 2012.)

The media coverage discusses how responses to the campaign have been mixed with opinions ranging from “effective” to “offensive.” This follows discussions last week about a campaign in Ontario by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) that spurred one mother to make a formal complaint.

The LCBO campaign was critiqued for suggesting that mothers who drink during pregnancy are irresponsible and uncaring. Rather than promoting love, it was suggested that…

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enews edition 14


We have recently published our 14th edition of the iNAT FASD Intervention E-Newsletter!

This edition contains information on the “Strongest Families” research program (aimed at helping caregivers of children with FASD with behavioural difficulties), an interview with two young researchers investigating FASD intervention research in executive function, and upcoming conferences and events.

Click here to read the most recent newsletter.

If you are not already on our subscriber list, subscribe here to avoid missing out on future newsletters!



Today is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day!

From the Public Health Agency of Canada: “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe the range of disabilities that result from prenatal alcohol exposure. It is the leading known cause of developmental disability in Canada.”

FASD is 100% preventable. No alcohol during pregnancy is the best option in FASD prevention.

Learn about FASD on our website:  www.KnowFASD.ca

Image source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/yukon-s-pioneer-fasd-residence-is-working-staff-1.2741867


In May, we wrote a post on Supportive Living for Adults with FASD in Yukon Territory. “Dun Kenji Ku” (“The People’s Place”), a housing complex for individuals with FASD which offers on-site supports and connections to community resources, has been in operation for over 6 months now.

We are pleased to learn that the program appears to be working, citing lower rates for serious incidents and RCMP involvement. With the potential to mitigate the secondary disabilities associated with FASD, housing complexes such as Dun Kenji Ku could prove to be an excellent intervention option for adults with FASD. Currently, 15 individuals are successfully living in the building.

Read the CBC news article/watch the video for more information and to hear from residents.

Image source: http://mashable.com/2012/05/15/donors-choose-video/


With school starting up across the country, we’ve got academics on the brain.

Children and youth with FASD often have difficulty with academic tasks such as math, reading, spelling, and motor based tasks like writing and even physical education. These challenges, along with widespread attention and hyperactivity difficulties,  can make school a tough place for kids with FASD.

Did you know:

Through CanFASD, we have created a website called “KnowFASD“. The website provides information on neurobehavioural difficulties associated with FASD across the lifespan and links to our FASD “wiki” housing information  and offering intervention options on each specific neurobehavioural difficulty.

Within the wiki, there is a page describing the  academic difficulties faced by individuals with FASD (as seen in research) as well as a page of resources and links for academic intervention options- all aimed at helping students with FASD who are having trouble in class.




Gross motor skill (movements using large muscle groups and whole body movement (i.e. walking, balancing, throwing, etc.) is an area of impairment that has been found in numerous FASD research studies.  Recently, Lucas et al. (2014) completed a systematic review of 14 articles examining several areas of gross motor deficit in children with FASD or moderate to heavy prenatal alcohol exposure (a meta analysis was completed with 10 of the 14 articles).

Upon meta-analysis, the authors found that a diagnosis of FASD was associated with gross motor impairment in balance, ball skills, and coordination. Exposure to moderate to heavy  or binge drinking levels of alcohol (without an FASD diagnosis) was not necessarily significantly associated with gross motor impairment, however individual studies did find some gross motor impairment in this group. When the subjects diagnosed with an FASD were combined with the subjects with moderate to heavy  or binge drinking levels of alcohol (without FASD diagnosis), pooled results showed that alcohol exposure was associated with GM impairment.

Based on meta-analysis, the odds of GM impairment are tripled for children with an FASD diagnosis or moderate to heavy binge drinking exposure during pregnancy. Findings of GM impairment were consistent regardless of which assessment tool was used.

You can access this article here. the abstract is available free of charge, however you must be a subscriber or pay a “per article” fee to read the full article.

Paper Reference:

Lucas BR, Latimer, J,  Pinto RZ, Ferreira ML, Doney R, Lau M, Jones T, Dries D, Elliott EJ. Gross Motor Deficits in Children Prenatally Exposed to Alcohol: A Meta-analysis. Pediatrics. 2014;134(1):e192-209

The 14 studies reviewed for this paper were: 

Adnams CM, Kodituwakku PW, Hay A, Molteno CD, Viljoen D, May PA. Patterns of cognitive motor development in children with fetal alcohol syndrome from a community in South Africa. [Erratum appears in Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2001 Aug;25(8):1187] Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2001;25(4):557–562

Aronson M, Kyllerman M, Sabel KG, Sandin B, Olegård R. Children of alcoholic mothers. Developmental, perceptual and behavioural characteristics as compared to matched controls. Acta Paediatr Scand. 1985;74(1):27–35

Autti-Rämö I, Granström ML. The effect of intrauterine alcohol exposition in various durations on early cognitive development. Neuropediatrics. 1991;22(4):203–210

Barr HM, Streissguth AP, Darby BL, Sampson PD. Prenatal exposure to alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and aspirin: Effects on fine and gross motor performance in 4-year-old children. Dev Psychol. 1990;26(3):339–348

Bay B, Støvring H, Wimberley T, et al. Low to moderate alcohol intake during pregnancy and risk of psychomotor deficits. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2012;36(5):807–814

Coles CD, Smith IE, Falek A. Prenatal alcohol exposure and infant behavior: immediate effects and implications for later development. Adv Alcohol Subst Abuse. 1987;6(4):87–104

Davies L, Dunn M, Chersich M, et al. Developmental delay of infants and young children with and without fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in the Northern Cape Province, South Africa. Afr J Psychiatry (Johannesbg). 2011;14(4):298–305

Jirikowic TL, McCoy SW, Lubetzky-Vilnai A, et al. Sensory control of balance: a comparison of children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders to children with typical development. J Popul Ther Clin Pharmacol. 2013;20(3):e212–e228

Kesmodel US, Bay B, Wimberley T, Eriksen HLF, Mortensen EL. Does binge drinking during early pregnancy increase the risk of psychomotor deficits? Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2013;37(7):1204–1212

Kooistra L, Ramage B, Crawford S, et al. Can attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder be differentiated by motor and balance deficits? Hum Mov Sci. 2009;28(4):529–542

Kyllerman M, Aronson M, Sabel KG, Karlberg E, Sandin B, Olegård R. Children of alcoholic mothers. Growth and motor performance compared to matched controls. Acta Paediatr Scand. 1985;74(1):20–26

Roebuck TM, Simmons RW, Mattson SN, Riley EP. Prenatal exposure to alcohol affects the ability to maintain postural balance. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1998;22(1):252–258

Simmons RW, Thomas JD, Levy SS, Riley EP. Motor response programming and movement time in children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure. Alcohol. 2010;44(4):371–378

Smith IE, Coles CD, Lancaster J, Fernhoff PM, Falek A. The effect of volume and duration of prenatal ethanol exposure on neonatal physical and behavioral development. Neurobehav Toxicol Teratol. 1986;8(4):375–381

Originally posted on Girls, Women, Alcohol, and Pregnancy:

CHNET-Works! - Free webinars in Population Health

CHNET-Works! is a project of the Population Health Improvement Research Network at the University of Ottawa. It is a network of networks linking researchers, decision-makers and practitioners in population health and stakeholder sectors from across Canada.

On September 9, 2014 (International FASD Awareness Day), CHNET-Works! will be hosting a “fireside chat” or free webinar on “Awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD): Making the Connections! / Sensibilisation à l’ensemble des troubles causés par l’alcoolisation foetale (ETCAF): Relier les points!”

Learn about the connections and progress of collaborative efforts from three compelling perspectives of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), including:

  • What’s crucial to know about living with FASD and mental health issues– if you’re a parent, care-giver, front line provider or community member;
  • The important role of front line health providers in prevention, and in talking to women about alcohol use throughout life – especially during pregnancy;
  • What exciting new research…

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Click on the icon below to learn about a University of Alberta research study aimed at improving memory function in children with prenatal alcohol exposure.


Some of you may have read our post “Strongest Families Research Program” in May about an upcoming research study designed to help parents of children with FASD to deal with their child’s challenging behaviours. We promised to let you know when the study began recruiting participants, and that time is now! Parents, keep on reading to get help with parenting your child with FASD.

Sue Kobus, recruitment coordinator of the study, writes:

“Strongest Families has developed programs to help parents with their children’s behaviour problems. Strongest Families Programs are done on-line with weekly telephone calls from a personal Coach. The Coach provides support to families, answers questions and guides parents as they learn skills. Families do not have to travel to a centre to get help.”

Researchers are currently looking for families who have children aged 4-12 years, living in Canada, and have a FASD diagnosis to take part in the study.

To learn more or sign up, visit the website  (the website is being finalized. Please check back in a couple of days if it is not working) or contact the team at: FASDstdy@queensu.ca  1-877-341-8309, Menu #4

You can also click on the pictures below to learn more about the study and find sign up information.



Brochure P. 1

Brochure P.1

Brochure P. 2

Brochure P.2


Image source: http://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/fasd-school-program-engages-students-with-video-game-1.1877439#.U6hPTmyJdeA.wordpress

In 2012, we posted “A Video Game that Actually Helps” about a video game called “Caribbean Quest” designed for kids with FASD.  The game aims to improve cognitive function and self regulation and has shown promising results thus far.

Caribbean Quest has been used with children on a one-to-one basis with a support coach and in small groups through the University of Victoria and and the University of Alberta. Research will now take place in larger groups at David Livingston School in Winnipeg to determine the efficacy of the game in a classroom setting.

Read/view news about the program through CTV Winnipeg 

Learn more about Caribbean quest through the University of Victoria

*Note: Given that iNAT researchers have been involved with the implementation of the program, we have received several questions regarding distribution of the game for public use. Unfortunately, the game is still in the “research” stages and is not currently available for public use. We will be sure to let you know if it becomes available!

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