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 (aged 5 – 10) 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
  • Dr Raja Mukherjee
  • Sandra Butcher
  • Dr Larry Burd
  • Susan McGrail
  • Dr 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 was originally designed to be delivered face-to-face, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, the course was redesigned to be delivered remotely via video conferencing.

The course delivery include 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 working on a funding bid to assess the programme in a randomised controlled trial and assessing the feasibility of the project.

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

For further information please contact Dr Alan Price: a.d.price2@salford.ac.uk