Inclusive Education as Exclusive Practice: One Parent’s Experience Advocating for Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Within the School System

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a significant cause of cognitive and developmental disability among children in Canada, with accompanying lifelong risks to independent living. Previous studies have called for improved home–school collaboration to support children with FASD, but barriers remain for parents seeking collaborative involvement. Using a narrative approach, this article presents one parent’s experiences advocating for children with FASD within a school system in central Canada. Emerging narrative themes were schools’ lack of knowledge and awareness of FASD, the difficulty of choosing a school or program, and the importance of listening to parents and families. Within the context of previous findings, this parent’s narrative confirms and makes urgent key areas of need for improved support of children with FASD. These include improved training for teachers and administrators, flexible accommodations including specialized environments when needed, and above all an active commitment to trusting collaborations and encouragement of parental involvement.

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