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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in the Australian education system: Knowledge, attitudes, needs and practices

What is this research about?

 

While it is recognised that children with FASD experience similar impairments to children with other neurodevelopmental disorders, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), there is limited understanding of the similarities and differences between the educational needs of students with FASD and ASD.
Understanding the needs of students with FASD and the knowledge, needs, and practices of the educators that support them is necessary to:

  • Inform the development of classroom interventions and identify relevant intervention targets.
  • Support the dissemination of management strategies for students with FASD in schools.
  • Inform workforce development initiatives. In addition, understanding the comparative needs of students with FASD and ASD can help to inform the implementation of transdiagnostic vs disorder specific models of intervention and workforce development.

The primary aim of this study is to examine knowledge, attitudes,self-efficacy and practices related to FASD and its implications for the classroom, among primary and secondary school staff working in Public, Catholic and Independent Schools in Australia. In addition, the aim of this research is to examine school staff perspectives of the needs of students with FASD, and to compare needs of students with FASD with the needs of students with ASD. Current resources/training sources and preferences of educators regarding future training initiatives will also be examined.


These aims will be achieved by:

  • conducting an online survey of staff in Public, Catholic and Independent schools in Australia, using a random sample of schools drawn from a national sampling frame
  • comparing outcomes with data collected in the Autism CRC Education Needs Analysis survey

For the purposes of this project, school staff include school administrators (principals), classroom teachers, specialist staff (school psychologists and school counsellors) and ancillary staff (e.g. Aboriginal community education officers, Aboriginal and Islander education officers, education assistants, teaching assistants and classroom support officers).

Data collection has been completed (n=343) and analysis is underway.

Project Partners
Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism, University of Queensland

Funder of this Project
FASD Research Australia from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centres of Research Excellence grant

Read more about FASD Research Australia

Investigators

  • Professor Carol Bower - Telethon Kids Institute, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
  • Dr Amy Finlay-Jones - Telethon Kids Institute, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
  • Dr Roslyn Giglia - Telethon Kids Institute, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
  • Dr Beth Saggers - Queensland University of Technology, Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism, Queensland, Australia

Project Team

  • Dr Amy Finlay-Jones – Project Leader
  • Lisa Cannon – Research Assistant

Contact

For information about this project contact

Dr Amy Finlay-Jones

08 6319 1808

Page last updated 7 November 2019