Fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in Indigenous schoolchildren

Loretta R de Plevitz, Judith S Gould and Terrina M Smith
Med J Aust 2009; 190 (5): 286-287.

To the Editor: A causal connection between alcoholic mothers and developmental delays and physical abnormalities in their babies was identified in the 1970s and termed fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Other less extreme but still disabling effects fall under the umbrella term of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).1

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  • Loretta R de Plevitz1
  • Judith S Gould2
  • Terrina M Smith1

  • 1 Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD.
  • 2 Research Centre for Languages and Cultures, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA.


  • 1. Streissguth AP, Bookstein FL, Barr HM, et al. Risk factors for adverse life outcomes in fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol effects. J Dev Behav Pediatr 2004; 25: 228-238.
  • 2. Elliott EJ, Payne JM, Morris A, et al. Fetal alcohol syndrome: a prospective national surveillance study. Arch Dis Child 2008; 93: 732-737. doi: 10.1136/adc.2007.120220.
  • 3. Aboriginal Healing Foundation. Fetal alcohol syndrome among aboriginal people in Canada: review and analysis of the intergenerational links to residential schools. Ottawa: AHF, 2003. (accessed Sep 2008).
  • 4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fetal alcohol syndrome — South Africa, 2001. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2003; 52: 660-602.
  • 5. Rural Health Education Foundation. Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Program ID 614 [webcast video program, first broadcast 8 Nov 2006]. Canberra: Rural Health Education Foundation, 2006. (accessed Jul 2008).
  • 6. Gould J. The affects of language assessment policies in speech-language pathology on the educational experiences of Indigenous students. Curr Issues Lang Plann 2008; 9: 299-316.
  • 7. de Plevitz L. Special schooling for Indigenous students: a new form of racial discrimination? Aust J Indigenous Education 2006; 35: 44-53.


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