FASD Diagnostic Clinic: Impact Beyond COVID-19

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) affects approximately 4% of Canadians. It impacts more people in Canada than autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome combined. At Surrey Place, we recognize that with early and appropriate supports, we can make a difference in supporting individuals with FASD and their families. 

As with many other services typically delivered in-person prior to the pandemic, diagnostic services suddenly faced COVID-19 restrictions. Surrey Place’s FASD Diagnostic Team rose to this challenge. Despite the pandemic, the FASD Clinic has supported the diagnostic needs of 31 clients (16 adults and 15 youth) who were able to receive service from the comfort of their own homes through remote, electronic testing. By consulting with professionals, families, and individuals living with the diagnosis, the Clinic adapted its services during office closures. They developed FASD Mobile Diagnosis Kits made up of electronic assessment materials, tablets, and portable projectors on loan to families. Selected tablets were outfitted with data subscriptions to avoid the use of families’ personal Wi-Fi, and to increase privacy by avoiding public Wi-Fi connections. Kits were sent and returned from clients’ homes by courier to ensure the safety of clients and clinicians. 

Assessments included psychological and speech-language pathology testing, a medical health review, and service coordination. Following assessment, each client received a comprehensive written report which explained their diagnosis, outlined their strengths and challenges, and made extensive recommendations for future services and support. In addition, some individuals received short-term behaviour therapy or service coordination consultations to assist them in enacting recommendations from the report. For clients ages 18+, we were also able to help establish eligibility for Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) which provided increased financial and support services. 

This work was made possible through a generous donation by the Harry E. Foster Foundation to purchase the equipment and materials necessary to create FASD Mobile Diagnosis Kits. With the ongoing nature of COVID-19 restrictions, the kits will allow us to mitigate the effects of prolonged gaps in services. We can now reach our clients using several different modes of technology, which increases accessibility and provides greater choice for clients! 

This project has also provided longevity to Surrey Place’s FASD diagnostic work beyond COVID-19. Assessment materials purchased can be used for multiple purposes beyond FASD diagnosis. These materials are updated frequently, and purchasing digital versions allows for more frequent renewal, which provides greater program sustainability. Now that we have established this remote assessment, we can reach beyond our regular organizational boundaries to support clients in different regions as needed. 

We are proud of the work done by our FASD Diagnostic Team, and grateful for the donation from the Harry E. Foster Foundation that made this work possible! 

Learn more about our FASD Services here.

By 2 months

Has your baby had their hearing screened? YES NO

By 6 months

Does the child?

Startle in response to loud noises? YES NO
Turn to where a sound is coming from? YES NO
Make different cries for different needs (hungry, tired)? YES NO
Watch your face as you talk? YES NO
Smile/laugh in response to your smiles and laughs? YES NO
Imitate coughs or other sounds such as ah, eh, buh YES NO

By 9 months

Does the child?

Respond to their name? YES NO
Respond to the telephone ringing or a knock at the door? YES NO
Understand being told no? YES NO
Get what they want through using gestures (reaching to be picked up)? YES NO
Play social games with you (Peek-a-Boo)? YES NO
Enjoy being around people? YES NO
Babble and repeat sounds such as babababa or duhduhduh? YES NO

By 12 months

Does the child?

Follow simple one-step directions (sit down)? YES NO
Look across the room to a toy when adult points at it? YES NO
Consistently use three to five words? YES NO
Use gestures to communicate (waves hi/bye, shakes head for no)? YES NO
Get your attention using sounds, gestures and pointing while looking at your eyes? YES NO
Bring you toys to show you? YES NO
Perform for social attention and praise? YES NO
Combine lots of sounds together as though talking (abada baduh abee)? YES NO
Show an interest in simple picture books? YES NO

By 18 months

Does the child?

Understand the meaning of in and out, off and on? YES NO
Point to more than 2 body parts when asked? YES NO
Use at least 20 words consistently? YES NO
Respond with words or gestures to simple questions (Where's teddy? What's that?)? YES NO
Demonstrate some pretend play with toys (gives teddy bear a drink, pretends a bowl is a hat)? YES NO
Make at least four different consonant sounds (p ,b, m, n, d, g, w, h)? YES NO
Enjoy being read to and sharing simple books with you? YES NO
Point to pictures using one finger? YES NO

By 2 years

Does the child?

Follow two-step directions (Go find your teddy bear and show it to Grandma.)? YES NO
Use 100 to 150 words? YES NO
Use at least two pronouns (you, me, mine)? YES NO
Consistently combine two to four words in short phrases (Daddy hat. Truck go down.)? YES NO
Enjoy being around other children? YES NO
Begin to offer toys to other children and imitate other children's actions and words? YES NO
Use words that are understood by others 50 to 60 per cent of the time? YES NO
Form words or sounds easily and without effort? YES NO
Hold books the right way up and turn the pages? YES NO
Read to stuffed animals or toys? YES NO
Scribble with crayons? YES NO

By 30 months

Does the child?

Understand the concepts of size (big/little) and quantity (a little/a lot, more)? YES NO
Use some adult grammar (two cookies, bird flying, I jumped)? YES NO
Use over 350 words? YES NO
Use action words such as run, spill, fall? YES NO
Participate in some turn-taking activities with peers, using both words and toys? YES NO
Demonstrate concern when another child is hurt or sad? YES NO
Combine several actions in play (puts blocks in the train and drives the train, drops the blocks off.)? YES NO
Put sounds at the beginning of most words? YES NO
Use words with two or more syllables or beats (ba-na-na, com-pu-ter, a-pple)? YES NO
Recognize familiar logos and signs involving print (Stop sign)? YES NO
Remember and understand familiar stories? YES NO

By 3 years

Does the child?

Understand who, what, where and why questions? YES NO
Create long sentences using five to eight words? YES NO
Talk about past events (trip to grandparents house, day at child care)? YES NO
Tell simple stories? YES NO
Show affection for favourite playmates? YES NO
Engage in multi-step pretend play (pretending to cook a meal, repair a car)? YES NO
Talk in a way that most people outside of the family understand what she/he is saying most of the time? YES NO
Have an understanding of the function of print (menus, lists, signs)? YES NO
Show interest in, and awareness of, rhyming words? YES NO
Read to stuffed animals or toys? YES NO
Scribble with crayons? YES NO

By 4 years

Does the child?

Follow directions involving three or more steps (First get some paper, then draw a picture and give it to Mommy)? YES NO
Use adult type grammar? YES NO
Tell stories with a beginning, middle and end? YES NO
Talk to try and solve problems with adults and with other children? YES NO
Show increasingly complex imaginary play? YES NO
Talk in a way that is understood by strangers almost all the time? YES NO
Generate simple rhymes (cat-bat)? YES NO
Match some letters with their sounds (letter b says buh, letter t says tuh)? YES NO