Effective approaches to prevention and diagnosis of FASD
The Senate Community Affairs References Committee has released its report, Effective approaches to prevention, diagnosis and support for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). The report examines strategies for optimising life outcomes for people with FASD, and the prevalence and management of FASD within vulnerable populations, the education system and the criminal justice system.
The Committee received input from people with lived experience, families, clinicians and through broader consultation with communities. NDS welcomes the recommendations to combat what the Committee noted was an entirely preventable, ‘invisible epidemic’.
Thirty two recommendations are made for significantly improving the prevention, diagnosis, and management of FASD. Of particular interest for the disability sector are recommendations that:
- the NDIA implement improvements to the Early Childhood Early Intervention program to streamline access and documentary evidence requirements
- the NDIA ensure that the planned Early Childhood Early Intervention Reset focus on improving access to support for children throughout key developmental stages
- the Australian Government include FASD in the List of Recognised Disabilities
- the NDIA undertake consultation and a co-design process with First Nations organisations to improve its Remote Community Connectors Program to enable better access to disability support services for eligible NDIS participants living in remote Australia.
Update of the Australian Guide to the Assessment and Diagnosis of FASD
The University of Queensland is leading a consortium of 12 organisations to comprehensively review and update the Australian Guide to the Assessment and Diagnosis of FASD so clinicians have access to the latest evidence-based clinical practice guidelines in their assessment and diagnosis of FASD.
Five stakeholder advisory groups comprising clinicians, researchers, cultural advisors, consumers, and representatives for education, justice, child protection and disability are being established to help guide the development and implementation of the revised Guide. NDS has accepted an invitation to participate in this process.