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KnowFASD

After what seems like far too long, KnowFASD is back in operation! To those of you who use the site regularly and have been waiting for its return, thank you for your patience.

If you have never visited the site, please feel free to drop by and check it out! Take a browse through the interactive home page and learn more/find help on the site’s wiki.

Our goal with KnowFASD is to provide a comprehensive site where viewers can learn about the neurobehavioural deficits associated with FASD throughout the lifespan and link to intervention options.

The main homepage of the website is an interactive interface where viewers can scroll through the lifespan of individuals with FASD, with neurobehavioural issues at each developmental stage presented as they may appear in day-to-day life. By clicking on a neurobehavioural issue, viewers are directed to a “wiki” (which works in a similar fashion to Wikipedia) housing information from current research on the neurobehavioural issue at hand. Each wiki page discusses a specific neurobehavioural issue: how it presents, potential causes, and potential consequences. At the bottom of each page, a link is provided to topic-specific intervention options.

Please feel free to visit the site, pass it along, and give us your feedback or suggestions. Check back often as we continue to upload information, links, and resources.

Visit KnowFASD

knowfasd

We recently featured our newest project, KnowFASD, in the latest edition of our iNAT newsletter. For those of you who have not yet subscribed to the iNAT newsletter, here is some information about KnowFASD:

Our goal with KnowFASD is to provide a comprehensive site where viewers can learn about the neurobehavioural deficits associated with FASD throughout the lifespan and link to intervention options.

The main homepage of the website is an interactive interface where viewers can scroll through the lifespan of individuals with FASD, with neurobehavioural issues at each developmental stage presented as they may appear in day-to-day life. By clicking on a neurobehavioural issue, viewers are directed to a “wiki” (which works in a similar fashion to Wikipedia) housing information from current research on the neurobehavioural issue at hand. Each wiki page discusses a specific neurobehavioural issue: how it presents, potential causes, and potential consequences. At the bottom of each page, a link is provided to topic-specific intervention options.

Please feel free to visit the site, pass it along, and give us your feedback or suggestions. Check back often as we continue to categorize and upload information.

Visit KnowFASD

With Halloween on our doorsteps, it is important to think about the sensory needs of children with FASD on this fun-filled holiday.

Children with FASD tend to have more sensory processing issues that typically developing children (1,2). This means that they have difficulty interpreting and reacting accordingly to sensory input from their environment (3). For example, sounds might seem too loud or too quiet, lights may seem too bright or too dim, and touch may feel too strong or too soft. These difficulties in processing sensory information can make it difficult for kids with FASD to respond in an adaptive way to their environments, and are associated with higher than average behaviour problems, such as acting out, social and attention problems, rule breaking, and thought problems (3,4).

Enter Halloween: A holiday with bright colours, yelling and screaming children, costumes that can be easy to trip over, hard to see through, and uncomfortable to wear, and ghosts and goblins waiting in nooks and crannies to jump out and spook you at any given time. All of these things can make what is supposed to be a fun-filled holiday a very difficult time for a child with FASD, potentially resulting in dysregulation and negative behaviour.

Research on FASD and sensory processing  recommends that children’s sensory processing difficulties be taken into account when considering a child with FASD’s needs (3,4). The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has listened! The AOTA has put out some great tips for “Enjoying Halloween with Sensory Issues.” They have some great ideas to prepare children with sensory processing difficulties to have a fun and happy Halloween.

References:

1-Mattson, S. N., Goodman, A. M., Caine, C. D., Delis, D. C., & Riley, E. P. (1999). Executive functioning in children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 23, 1808–1815.

2-Mattson, S. N., & Riley, E. P. (1998). A review of the neurobehavioral deficits in children with fetal alcohol syndrome or prenatal exposure to alcohol. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 22, 279–294.

3-Franklin, L., Deitz, J., Jirikowic, T., & Astley, S. (2008). Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Problem behaviors and sensory processingAmerican Journal of Occupational Therapy, 62, 265–273.

4-Jirikowic, T. L., Olson, H. C., & Kartin, D. (2008). Sensory processing, school performance, and adaptive behavior of young school-aged children with fetal alcohol spectrum disordersPhysical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 2, 117-136.

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