The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is continuing to work to support students with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, otherwise known as FASD. A delegation of 16 people from Newfoundland and Labrador visited schools across the KPDSB earlier this year, to learn more about how the board is working with students that have the disorder.

“Our work has been recognized nationally over the last few years. We’re doing good work and we’re making a difference for young people. These young people have the right to graduate from school with the proper supports,” said Director of Education for the KPDSB, Sean Monteith.

FASD, brought on by a mother consuming alcohol while pregnant, can include physical problems, as well as behavioural and learning deficiencies. Those affected are statistically more-likely to have trouble in school, legal problems, participate in high-risk behaviours, and have issues with alcohol and other substances.

“We have over 5,000 students in the KPDSB. We do have kids with FASD in our system. It’s a permanent brain impairment, you’re not going to correct that. However, with proper supports and an understanding that children with FASD can learn, these kids can grow up, contribute and live in our communities. Without supports, the cycle of dependency continues. We want to make sure that these kids are given an opportunity,” Monteith added.

Monteith says that the board uses a different approach to teaching students with FASD. In 2013, the board implemented a program for affected students that includes individual classrooms and more one-on-one supports.

Since then, the program has only expanded with more supports and a more individualized curriculum – that still promotes learning with other students. The program includes input from Sick Kids Canada, and local community service providers.

For more information:
KPDSB to implement FASD programs

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