Dufferin Wellington Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder


FASD Dictionary

Activities of Daily Learning 

Activities that are typically associated with self-help tasks such as eating, dressing, grooming, or domestic activities such as cooking or cleaning.


Providing support so that students can complete curriculum successfully. This is different from modifications in that accommodations do not change the curriculum. 

Adaptive Behaviour 
 The individual's ability to adjust to and apply skills to new situations (i.e., different environments, tasks, objects, and people). 
Alcohol-Related Birth Defect (ARBD):   

Congenital anomalies, including malformations and dysplasia, for which there was a history of prenatal alcohol exposure.

Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND) 

A spectrum of alcohol-affected, prenatal brain damage, WITHOUT facial features.

Brain Injury (BI)

Unexpected change in structure, wiring, formation, and development of the brain at any age which is usually measured by neuropsychological, speech/language, social language, motor and sensory assessments. 

Unexpected change in structure, wiring, formation, and development of the brain at any age which is usually measured by neuropsychological, speech/language, social language, motor and sensory assessments. 

Brain Domains 

The following is a list of domains that may be impacted by prenatal exposure to alcohol:

  • Sensory Motor                                                            
  • Social Skills/Social Communication
  • Attention/Hyperactivity                                                                 
  • Academic Achievement
  • Communication - Language                                             
  • Memory
  • Cognitive                                                                         
  • Executive Functioning
  • Adaptive Behaviour                                                          
  • Medical

The domains should be assessed as though they are independent entities, but, where there is overlap, experienced clinical judgement is required to decide how many domains are affected. There must be evidence of impairment in 3 domains for a diagnosis, but a comprehensive assessment requires that each domain be assessed to identify strengths and weakness. A domain is considered "impaired" when, on a standardized measure, a score is 2 standard deviations or more below the mean, or there is a discrepancy of at least 1 standard deviation between sub domains (i.e., verbal vs. non-verbal ability on a standard IQ test). Clinical judgement of 'significant dysfunction' can be used in areas where standardized measurements are not available. The child's age, mental-health factors, socioeconomic, and family/home environment must be taken into consideration and may affect the child's development but of not indicate brain damage

Coexisting Disorders

Other disorders that may exist along with FASD. These include impulse-control disorders, psychoses, obsessive-compulsive disorder, seizures, mood and anxiety disorders, and development delays. Also called co-morbid disorders or differential diagnosis.

Brain disease, damage, or malfunction resulting in a very broad spectrum of symptoms that range from mild (e.g., some memory loss or subtle personality changes) to severe (e.g., seizures or coma).
Executive Functioning

Collection of brain processes responsible for conscious control of behaviour including making and carrying out decisions, cognitive flexibility, abstract thinking, rule acquisition, emotional regulation, initiating appropriate actions and inhibiting inappropriate actions, and selecting relevant sensory information. 

Modifications can be made to the curriculum, the support system, the environments, and/or teaching strategies to match individual needs (strengths and deficits). The adaptations ensure that the student can participate actively and as independently as possible.
Neurodevelopmental Disorder (NDD)

Disorders where development of the central nervous system (e.g., brain and spinal cord) is disturbed or changed (e.g., FASD, Autism). 

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) 
An infant born with symptoms of drug addictions and withdrawal after being prenatally exposed to drugs. 
Neurobehavioural Disorder 
Behavioral changes/deficits/impairments seen in associated with brain disease, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, etc., and transient as well as permanent brain impairments, such as metabolic and toxic encephalopathies such as FASD, and/or injury, such as trauma, hypoxia, etc.

The depression in the flesh extending vertically from the nose to the upper lip. The smoothness of the philtrum and the thinness of the lip are assessed, as they are one of the three facial features that discriminate individuals with or without FASD. 

Standard Deviations
Statistics indicating how spread out or tightly clustered figures are around the average (or mean) in a data set. 
Visual Adaptations/Visual Supports
Written schedules, lists, charts, picture sequences, and other visuals that convey meaningful information in a permanent format for later reference. Visual adaptations allow the person affected by FASD to function more independently without constant verbal direction. 
Visual Schedule

A group of pictures or objects showing someone the order of events or activities.