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latest research.

New Exciting Research:
New research is taking place internationally into the link of gut health and immune response of children with FASD
What does this research mean?...
They hope the research will shed light on gut microbiota (bacteria) in children with FASD but will provide a model for research to better understand how immune function and gut microbiota may bring about, or prevent, mental health issues in other developmental disorders.
The researchers say .......
“Exploring this new area of the gut-immune-brain-axis could lead to development of new intervention strategies for individuals with FASD”.
"The research could also help to identify biomarkers at the level of the gut microbiota that would indicate whether the child had prenatal alcohol exposure. This would be helpful to identify children as early as possible who need treatments"

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FASD & Teenage Aggression: A useful article published recently if you need to demonstrate links to aggression with FASD

Music Therapy

This paper is particularly useful if you are making an application for funding for music therapy or similar. "Moreover, ‘early diagnosis and living in a supportive and violence-free environment are the most important protective factors for the long-term outcome of patients with FASD’ and today therapies are mostly symptom orientated".

"Although research on music and dance-movement therapeutic methods for FASD is significantly underrepresented, there are good reasons to assume their potential efficacy. For this reason, the German music educator Julia Richter conducted research on artsbased interventions to alleviate FASD-symptoms and to support the personal growth of affected children [54]. Using music and movement together with symbolic, imaginary and dramatic play,  she discovered a vivid response and readiness to deal with core issues such as aggression, violence, anger, defiance, provocation, anxiety, emotional safety and tenderness. The positive outcome of her case-series-study was much higher than expected. Taking into account that the elements of her intervention are akin to features of music rhythmic therapy, further research is likely to yield robust methods. These, however, have to tally with sociocultural conditions and should be tailored to the children’s individual characteristics".

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) diagnosis in adulthood
Valerie K. Temple, Sonal Prasad, Svetlana Popova & Ann Lindsay. (2020)

Early diagnosis of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) can improve outcomes for children. Researchers surveyed 20 adults with FASD who were diagnosed between 1 and 11 years old prior to the study to determine if diagnosis in adulthood had the same benefits as it does in childhood. They found that:

  • The average age of diagnosis for the participants was 25.4, but it ranged anywhere from 18 to 45 years.

  • All of the participants followed through with at least one of the recommendations outlined in the diagnostic assessment process and 75% followed up with 2 or more.

  • Participants reported that receiving a diagnosis was beneficial. It gave them some relief, self-acceptance, and a greater understanding of themselves. It also helped them better understand the supports they need.

  • There were high rates of mental health problems (55%), unemployment (85%), and unstable housing (10%), which is consistent with other research. However, because of the limitations of the study, the rates of challenges in this population are expected to be higher than stated.

  • At the time of diagnosis, only 10% of participants were receiving disability income support. However, by the time of follow up, that number rose to 90%. Likewise, before diagnosis, only 15% were eligible for developmental supports, which rose to 85% after diagnosis.

  • When asked, participants were most proud of their job, school, or volunteer work, their family accomplishments, and/or their improved lifestyle.

Key Takeaway: An FASD diagnosis is beneficial for adults as well as children. A diagnosis can help to improve access to financial supports and physical services, and can improve individuals’ personal understanding and self-awareness. 

Valerie K. Temple, Sonal Prasad, Svetlana Popova & Ann Lindsay. (2020). Long-term outcomes following Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) diagnosis in adulthood. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability. DOI: 10.3109/13668250.2020.1824612

Language Development Disorder in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), a Case Study

For children presenting complex clinical profiles that include language, cognition, behavioural, and socialisation difficulties, it is necessary that interdisciplinary diagnostic teams should include speech-language pathologists who play an important role in the early identification and intervention of the wide range of neurodevelopmental disorders, including those associated with FASD

Criminal Justice

Exploring how, far from providing solutions to FASD, the mainstream criminal justice system increases the likelihood of adverse outcomes for children with FASD and their families, this innovative book will be of great value to researchers and students worldwide interested in criminal and social justice, criminology, youth justice, social work, and education.


Prof Huw Williams Exeter University references UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 2019.


"Children lacking criminal responsibility for reasons related to developmental delays or neurodevelopmental disorders or disabilities"

28.Children with developmental delays or neurodevelopmental disorders or disabilities (for example, autism spectrum disorders, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders or acquired brain injuries) should not be in the child justice system at all, even if they have reached the minimum age of criminal responsibility. If not automatically excluded, such children should be individually assessed."

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