Providing care and diagnosis for children with FASD
Grandmother Marmingee Hand from remote Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia has a full time job looking after the two nephews and two grandchildren who live with her – especially as all have been diagnosed with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD).
“It’s a challenge every day, but my husband and I accommodate their needs, every day it’s different,” she says.
The Kids Research Institute works with the University of Sydney, the George Institute for Global Health, Nindilingarri Cultural Health Services and Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre in Fitzroy Crossing to study the prevalence of FASD in Indigenous communities. It has developed a screening and diagnostic tool and is working on a national plan to address the condition.
“One of the key things has been education in the community and raising awareness about FASD,” says Professor Elizabeth Elliott, chief investigator of the Lililwan project which is being run to address FASD in the Fitzroy Valley.
It has developed a standardised management plan for all the children it has identified as having FASD, using a multidisciplinary model to gain health and educational support for their needs, such as therapy for hyperactivity or attention deficit.