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8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

The Role of the Speech-Language Pathologist on a FASD Diagnostic Team

The language used in the descriptions reflects the language of the sessions.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the leading non-genetic cause of developmental disability in Canada. The Manitoba FASD Centre in Winnipeg has been providing assessments for children and youth prenatally exposed to alcohol for over two decades. It typically receives over 400 referrals a year from across the province. The Manitoba FASD Centre follows the Canadian FASD Diagnostic Guidelines (2015) as a framework for the diagnostic process. The Guidelines outline 10 areas of brain domain functioning as part of the neurodevelopmental assessment of FASD. A multidisciplinary team approach, which includes a speech-language pathologist (S-LP), is strongly recommended due to the complexity of the disorder. Challenges in the diagnostic process as well as trends in the assessment findings relating to domains of brain functioning will be discussed. Team collaboration in the development of concrete and practical intervention strategies that highlight the client’s strengths and weaknesses, will also be outlined.

The objectives of this presentation are to discuss:

  • Influences contributing to maternal alcohol consumption
  • Maternal risk factors associated with FASD
  • The Canadian FASD Diagnostic Guidelines (2015)
  • Barriers to the assessment process
  • Role of the S-LP on a FASD diagnostic team
  • The recommended speech and language assessment tools when querying FASD
  • The neurodevelopmental profile of individuals with FASD
  • Intervention strategies for individuals with FASD
  • Past and present speech and language research


Intended Audience

Speech-Language Pathologists, Communication Health Assistants, Students

Age Group(s)

Pre-School (0-4), School Aged (5-17)