A Review of “Educating children and young people with Fetal Alcohol SpectrumDisorders”
Carolyn Blackburn, Barry Carpenter and Jo Egerton
This book draws on a great deal of research including the information provided via the
educational research project (FAS-eD Project) and the findings from the Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Project – both of which the authors were involved in. It begins with a description of Fetal/foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD); its history, diagnosis, causes and prevalence.
Chapter 3 aims to increase awareness of how FASD may impact on learning. This begins by identifying strengths and challenges that the different cognitive patterning may present to learning success. These may include health
related challenges such as poor sleeping and eating patterns; learning difficulties such as receptive and
expressive language; difficulties with organisation and attention plus specific problems in maths.
Behavioural difficulties such as hyperactivity, anxiety; social difficulties relating to interaction and
understanding boundaries and finally emotional difficulties relating to awareness of their difficulties
and self-esteem are all possible challenges.
Chapter 4 describes in some detail the strategies that can form the basis of a teaching and learning
framework for pupils with FASD and includes case studies to support and illustrate points made.
Chapter 5 looks at the complexity of issues relating to FASD that includes the profile of a 18 year old
with the condition that identifies the differing levels of competence/maturity in areas that include
money and time concepts (8 years old level), reading ability (16 level ) etc.
Chapter 6 moves onto the family and the impact having a child with FASD can have on them. This
is sensitively written and considers issues relating to parental guilt and anxiety.
The final chapter acknowledges that in terms of developing pedagogy to optimise support for pupils
with FASD, there remains quite a way to go.
A very well researched book that is an easy read.
This book would be of value to all staff in schools seeking answers to providing teaching that better
meets the needs of pupils with FASD.