Course Description


Overview of FASD

This course introduces students to the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure and the resulting disabilities known as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Beginning with an overview of FASD, the course moves into a detailed look at the primary and secondary disabilities of affected individuals across the lifespan, and concludes with a study of intervention strategies. The unique complexity FASD presents to individuals, families and communities is explored within the broader context of the impact of this disorder on the social, educational, criminal, financial and health care systems. A framework is provided for understanding the neurobehavioral differences associated with FASD and the corresponding appropriate interventions. Students investigate effective strategies for prevention and intervention at the family, community and professional levels.


Human Development
 
Human development integrates a life-span development approach with a multi-disciplinary perspective on the topic of human development. Human Development and behaviour will be viewed through the lens of aboriginal, feminist, and anti-oppressive approaches to practice. An emphasis on the established norms for each life stage will provide a framework for students to thoroughly understand the developmental delays characteristic of FASD.
 
 
Brain and Behaviour
 
Brain and behaviour is a foundation course for the studies of the effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol on the brain and behaviour. Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to integrate knowledge of basic human brain structure and function with information about the effects of alcohol on the developing brain in order to formulate an in-depth understanding of the impact of prenatal alcohol exposure on the brain and on behaviour.
 
 
Cultural Perspectives in FASD
 
Cultural perspectives explores FASD from a cultural perspective, with a focus on Canadian Aboriginal cultures. FASD is viewed as a disorder that, while it affects all cultures, provides an emergent opportunity for the Aboriginal peoples of Canada to create a unique and effective response.
 
 
Addictions
 
Addictions will give students an understanding of substance misuse, abuse and complusive addictive behaviour. It will broaden their perspective of addiction issues and further strengthen their ability to work with diverse populations. A significant portion of this course is targeted to FASD.
 
 
Developmental and Learning DIsabilities
 
Developmental and learning disabilities explores developmental disabilities (including those affecting motor, cognitive, speech and sensory systems) from a brain function perspective.. The focus is on those disabilities that overlap with FASD and are often found as co-existing conditions.
 
 
Support Strategies
 
Support strategies focuses on effective strategies for those exhibiting FASD-related behaviour. Participants will learn to develop and apply appropriate support strategies for helping youth and adults affected with FASD cope with problematic situations.
 
 
Prevention
 
Prevention will cover the three levels of prevention as they relate to FASD and alcohol addiction: primary, secondary and tertiary. Basic principles of public health and public health policy will also be part of the course content. Students will be required to develop a comprehensive prevention program for FASD at one of the three levels.
 
 
Special Topics in FASD
 
Special topics in FASD addresses the unique considerations of policies and ethics within the various systems impacted by FASD. A broad range of FASD related topics will be covered including brain and addiction research, clinical practice, service delivery and social policy.
 
 
Fundamentals and Professional Implications 
 
This course is designed to provide a solid understanding of the unique complexities of FASD for students in the social service, education, justice and health-related disciplines. This knowledge will add depth to their understanding of individuals/families and communities who access services in their chosen field. The prevalence and impact of FASD make this disorder an important area of study for those in the human service professions. Students will explore effective strategies for prevention and intervention at the family, community and professional levels. Their gained knowledge can be integrated into their practice once in the field.
 
 
Practicum
 
This consists of a supervised practicum supplemented by a weekly online seminar. In consultation with the instructor and practicum supervisor, the student will establish specific praticum goals within their targeted discipline.


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