Surrey Place at the Forefront of FASD Recognition with New 3D Camera

Surrey Place unveils recently acquired technology that will enhance the way Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) diagnoses take place in Toronto. 

On September 9, 2019 as part of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day and Month, Surrey Place will host an awareness event and technology launch. The event will take place at 12 pm and includes a demonstration of the Vectra H2 3D camera which will strengthen diagnostic accuracy, and in turn, improve supports for individuals, families, and caregivers affected by FASD. 

The International FASD Awareness Day, 09/09 started in 1999 as a reminder that during 9 months of pregnancy, a woman should remain alcohol free, and to create large-scale public awareness of this issue. This year Surrey Place continues the tradition by asking Torontonians to wear red in support of FASD awareness and by advancing FASD diagnostics through the launch of the 3D camera. 

The camera will be the first of its kind to be used in Toronto at an FASD clinic and will enhance clinical assessment of FASD for individuals across the lifespan.  The new technology will allow for better identification of subtle indicators of prenatal alcohol exposure by improving accuracy of facial analysis.  

FASD is brain-based and therefore, a largely invisible injury. However, in about 8% to 10% of cases, there are subtle facial features that can be detected through facial analysis and these features can be used to confirm prenatal alcohol exposure.    Confirmation of prenatal alcohol exposure is required for FASD diagnosis and using facial features for confirmation is very important in situations where history is not available, such as when an individual is adopted, or parents cannot be located. The new 3D camera is therefore incredibly helpful. 

“We are excited to have this new technology because it will improve the quality of our facial analysis.” 

Dr. Shirley McMillan, Nurse Specialist with the FASD clinic at Surrey Place

The importance of diagnosis in FASD cannot be overstated.  “Diagnosis is important because it is the first step toward understanding an individual’s challenges and getting appropriate supports and treatments in place. Without diagnosis, individuals are often misunderstood as behaving poorly or not trying hard enough. Understanding that the behaviour is due to a disability can lead to instituting supports rather than punishments and therefore better outcomes for everyone.” 

Dr. Valerie Temple, Psychologist and Lead for the FASD clinic at Surrey Place

About FASD

FASD is an umbrella diagnostic term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual who was prenatally exposed to alcohol. These effects may include intellectual, physical, and behavioural difficulties with lifelong implications. While individuals with FASD may share common features, every individual is unique with their own strengths and challenges. A common misconception is that FASD is associated with social, ethnic, or cultural backgrounds. However, FASD occurs in all cultures and levels of society. Based on the most current research, the estimated prevalence of FASD in the general Canadian population is 3% to 4%, or about 1.4 million people (CanFASD). 

About Surrey Place 

Surrey Place provides specialized clinical services for children and adults living with developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorder and visual impairments. We work with individuals of all ages to learn new skills, gain self-confidence, and find hope. Our compassionate, clinical experts work as a team. We create responsive, reachable plans of care that integrate multiple services, and include the individual’s community. We offer a variety of groups and workshops for individuals, families, and caregivers, as well as extensive education and consultation services to community agencies. Located across Toronto, and with a reach across Ontario, our locations offer a welcoming, inclusive, and safe space for high quality, evidence-based services. 

Download the Press Release by clicking here. 

For further information, media contact:

Lisa Binns 
Director, Children’s Intake and Wellness 
T: 416-925-5141 ext. 2384    

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