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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

Have you got children that:

Wake up at all hours of the night? Won’t go to sleep or want to wake up in the middle of the night and play? Can’t get out of bed in the morning? Are tire during the day?

Check out this article on sleep issues for children with FASD published in the International Journal of Pediatrics.

The article mentions the many sleep problems children with FASD often experience, such as trouble falling asleep, fatigue during the day, night terrors, sleep walking, and frequent waking at night. Decreased sleep can lead to numerous problems in other areas such as academics, health, behaviour, daily living, and sleep routine of the parent/caregiver.

So what are some key components to healthy sleep?

1. Improved Sleep Environment:

Kids with FASD may be over-sensitive to stimuli in their environment, which may cause them to wake up or have trouble falling asleep.

Tips for improved sleep environment:

  • Earplugs
  • White noise machines
  • Dimmer lights in the home
  • Reduce business of visual stimuli (i.e. simple paint/wallpaper, not too many distractions in the room)
  • Cut off tags on pyjamas
  • Be aware of possible stimulation issues due to weight of blankets, temperature of home, smells (i.e. strong laundry detergents)
  • Night-lights for fear of dark
  • Don’t use bedrooms as a punishment
  • Consistency in environment for kids who have difficulty with change

2. Sleep Promoting Activities:

Calming activities before bed tend to reduce the time needed for a person to fall asleep. Exciting or invigorating activities before bed tend to increase the time needed for a person to fall asleep. Trial and error may be your best friend- activities that are calming for typically developing children may not necessarily work for a child with FASD.

Tips for sleep promoting activities:

  • Firm sequence and schedule
  • Use a soft voice and simple instructions
  • A visual schedule may help as a prompt
  • Read developmentally appropriate bedtime stories and avoid books that stimulate the senses like touch books or books with sound
  • Relaxing activities such as a warm bath or quiet music may help
  • Praising good bedtime behaviours may be more helpful than scolding undesired bedtime behaviours
  • Monitor the possible effect medications may be having on a child’s sleep.

3. Scheduling of Sleep:

Scheduling, routine and structure are critical, not only at bedtime, but throughout the entire day.

Tips for sleep scheduling:

  • Enforce rules and consistency
  • Maintain schedule on weekends and holidays
  • Melatonin may be helpful to establish a sleep schedule (talk to your doctor)

Source:

Jan, J. E., Asante, K. O., Conroy, J. L., Fast, D. K., Bax, M. C. O., Ipsiroglu, O. S., Bredberg, E., Loock, C. A., & Wasdell, M. B. (2010). Sleep Health Issues for Children with FASD: Clinical Considerations. International Journal of Pediatrics, v.2010; 2010. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2913852/

Caregivers and parents:

Help each other out! What are some of your sleep secrets? Have you found sleep strategies that work for your children? Post them here and help another parent out!

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