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Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

with  Shushma Jain.

The session will give you an insight into the world of my daughter Layla, aged 7, who lives well with foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, cystic fibrosis, behaviour management, how language and anxiety plays a part, and other SEN such cystic fibrosis,  I will include coping strategies I have devised.  

Since adopting Layla, I have had to ‘do battle’ with many social services and medical experts who, as yet, do not have personal experience of FASD, who recommend strategies devised for other disabilities, that as her mother, I know will not work.  

I will also talk of the uphill struggle I have had to gain recognition for many of my daughters needs, whilst everyone, families and professionals, are still on a very steep learning curve with FASD, the most common, non-genetic cause of learning disability in the UK (British Medical Association, 2007.)

Session aims and objectives
NICE guidelines for FASD is due be published this year and will need to be implemented in schools. Therefore how professionals can adapt and tailor the curriculum around the child- for example when teaching the child to read, not to use phonics but audio as children with FASD get confused

What is FASD? How it affects children, what language to use, how to support them emotionally and mentally, to use visuals, how to deal with the complex behaviours and bring out the positive behaviours.  

More understanding of FASD and invisible disabilities.  

Thinking that the child can’t not won’t due to the invisible brain damage.

Language- how it affects the individual and how the child be articulate but not processing it

How a child masks their struggles in school.

Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), cystic fibrosis, sensory processing disorder, autism, ADHD, eating disorder, feeding peg, toileting, anxiety, behaviour management, attachment, use of language, masking of behaviours and the advantages of home-education for SEN children.


Speaker profile


I used to be a teacher in a SEN school.

I’m now parent to a child who has numerous invisible disabilities. My brother also had SEN. I work for a charity that supports parents and siblings whose child/children or sibling/siblings have died. I am also a foster carer.