Salford Parents and carers Education Course for Improvements in FASD outcomes In Children

Whilst conducting research, we worked closely with families of children with FASD. We realised that there is lack of support for families from service providers, and often inappropriate services were being offered. In many cases, children with FASD and a history of trauma were offered services based on trauma and attachment theory, but nothing that was designed for FASD.

Evidence from our research on the impact of childhood trauma and prenatal alcohol exposure shows that early identification and intervention can improve the outcomes of children with FASD. Moreover, appropriate family support is essential to achieve improved life outcomes for children with FASD. Therefore, we have now designed a training course, funded by the Medical Research Council, that is specific for families and carers of children with FASD.

This course is based on published evidence and input from clinicians and other professionals as well as people with the lived experience of raising a child with FASD. It includes effective strategies and advice for new parents and carers, so that families/carers can be prepared for the specific challenges of FASD and put effective strategies in place as soon as possible.

We hope that this training will lead to reduced stress and feelings of guilt for caregivers, and improvements in academic, behavioural and social functioning, and improved life outcomes for children with FASD.

Our Expert Steering group

  • Professor Penny Cook
  • Joanna Buckard
  • Dr Jennifer Shields
  • Dr David Tate
  • Suzanne Bell
  • Anna Webster
  • Professor Raja Mukherjee
  • Sandra Butcher
  • Dr Larry Burd
  • Susan McGrail
  • Professor Clare Allely

Training Sessions

  • Introduction session
  • Sensory processing
  • Self-regulation
  • Communication, Speech and language
  • Abstract and concrete reasoning
  • Routine, structure and consistency
  • Social relationships

The course is delivered online by two facilitators to groups of parents and caregivers. The facilitators bring a mix of professional and real-life experience of raising children with FASD.

The course delivery includes short presentations, recorded videos, generously created by experienced parents of children with FASD, and some featuring young adults with FASD. There are also group discussions and activities designed to support active learning.

We are currently conducting a study to see how well SPECIFiC can be delivered and we are looking for participants. If you match the following, and are interested in taking part, please send an email to FASD21@salford.ac.uk


  • Parent or carer of child aged 4-16 with FASD
  • Diagnosis* in the last 5 years
  • Able to attend 7-session programme online

* If a medical professional has told you your child probably has FASD, but they cannot provide a diagnosis at the moment due to lack of evidence or service capacity, then we may be able to include you.

You can access a video by one of our expert steering group members on the SPECIFIC course here.

You can read an interview with a previous SPECIFiC participant here.

If you like reading academic journal articles, you can read all about the development and preliminary testing of SPECIFiC here.

For further information or to apply to take part in SPECIFiC please contact our team at FASD21@salford.ac.uk