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Many Canadians are living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Although FASD is present from birth, individuals are often not diagnosed until later in life when symptoms related to learning challenges and a range of social problems emerge.

The Fetal Alcohol Resource Program aims to support the large numbers of people affected by this permanent brain injury. Through education and community leadership development the program draws together resources, skills and knowledge that exists in Ottawa and provides community navigation for individuals affected by FASD and their families.

We are presently contacting community agencies to gather information about services for people affected by FASD. Contact us if you would like to be added to the database.

Our team will also be happy to assist existing resources build their capacity to respond to and support individuals affected by FASD and their families.

Education to professionals (including health, education, justice, law enforcement, corrections, child welfare and social services).


  • To build knowledge and capacity in the community.
  • To equip service providers with the tools and resources they require to provide services for individuals with FASD.

One-Hour Workshops

Provide cost and time effective education opportunities by offering a series of one-hour workshops on the following topics:

  • FASD 101 – The facts about FASD. Making a paradigm shift from willful bad behavior to brain injury.
  • FASD, lost in the alphabet soup. Recognizing the red flags. What does FASD look like across the life span?
  • Through an FASD Lens: Rethinking treatment approaches and service delivery. Trying differently not harder.
  • The Art of Sensory Assessment with an FASD lens.
  • Building a toolbox of practical strategies.

Full-Day Workshop

A full day FASD workshop is designed to enable in-depth learning on foundational topics that impact your field of service delivery (E.g. Education, health, law enforcement, corrections, child welfare, and social services).

Sample Agenda:

  • Introduction to FASD – The facts about FASD. Making a paradigm shift from willful bad behavior to brain injury.
  • FASD, lost in the alphabet soup. Recognizing the red flags. What does FASD look like across the life span?
  • Through an FASD Lens: Rethinking treatment approaches and service delivery within your agency. Trying differently not harder.
  • Building a toolbox of practical strategies. How to build and implement an external brain.


Community navigation by providing coordinated access to support services to individuals affected by FASD

We are in the process of compiling a database of FASD resources available in Ottawa. Please let us know if there are services that have been useful to you or if there have been gaps in service when you have been trying to find support.


Funding and support for the project is provided by Citizen Advocacy Ottawa, NeuroDevNet,Exit Disclaimer Children’s Aid Society,Exit Disclaimer Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario,Exit Disclaimer and donor-directed funds through the Community Foundation of OttawaExit Disclaimer.

Citizen_Advocacy vertical

Please help us sustain this program by designating your donation to the Fetal Alcohol Resource Program


Children's Aid Society


Community Foundation of Ottawa


Upcoming Workshops

8th International Research Conference on Adolescents and Adults with FASD
Conférence portant sur le trouble du spectre de l’alcoolisaton foetale
Gowling Public School
University of Ottawa Faculty of Education (Inclusion)
Sydney, Nova Scotia
Kids Inclusive, Kingston
Sir Guy Carleton High School
FASD Awareness Day in the Ontario Legislature
FASD Group of Ottawa
Algonquin and Lakeshore District Catholic School Board
Annual Eastern Ontario FASD Symposium 2018

Completed Workshops and Collaborations

Crime Prevention Ottawa
Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre
Clinique Interprofessionnelle
Limestone District School Board
Kingston Community Presentation
Ottawa Police School Resources Officers
Ottawa Catholic School Board
Senate of Canada Human Rights Committee
Ontario Court Judges Annual Conference
Annual Eastern Ontario FASD Symposium
Pinecrest Queensway Community Health Centre
Accessible Attitudes, Victims and Survivors of Crime Week
Partners in Parenting Staff
Lanark Community Living Services
Donna Legge-Nevett Pediatric Occupational Therapy Services
Mainstreet Community Services
Stonecrest Public School
Ottawa Carleton Life Skills
Ottawa Carleton District School Board Social Workers and Psychologists
Lanark Summer Camp Staff Training
Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) Probation Offices (Ottawa, Kanata and Hawkesbury)
Options Bytown Presentation
March of Dimes
Neil Squire Society
University of Ottawa Faculty of Education Students
Elizabeth Fry Society Staff Training
Catholic Family Services
Early Childhood Education students at Algonquin College (Ottawa campus)
Early Childhood Education students at Algonquin College (Perth campus)
Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee (Champlain region)
Music Educator Training [Participating Agencies: Around the Campfire (Kanata), Counterpoint Music Therapy, One World Institute of Music and Neurodevelopment and Lotus Centre for Special Music Education]
Around the Campfire (Hintonburg and Kanata)
Youth Mental Health Court Stakeholders
Ottawa Carleton Pharmacists’ Association
Ottawa Community Committee on Child Abuse
City of Ottawa Special Needs Staff
OCDSB Early Childhood Educators and Educational Assistants
CHEO Pediatric Telehealth Rounds
FASD Group of Ottawa
Youth Justice Ontario members (Kingston)
FASD Action Network of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington
City of Ottawa Summer Camp Staff supporting Children with Special Needs
Kennedy House Youth Services Inc. (Toronto)
Youth Now FASD Respite Strategy
Partners in Parenting Foster Parents
Algonquin College Early Childhood Education students
University of Ottawa Faculty of Education students
FASD Strategies for Success Public Training
Lanark County Mental Health
Minawaashin Lodge
Rideauwood Addiction & family Services
Open Session in French hosted at Citizen Advocacy Ottawa
Public FASD Workshop
Mary’s Home
Odawa Drop-in Centre
ODSB Special Education
Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario
University of Ottawa Faculty of Education
OCDSB Special Education Consultants

“People can’t see it physically because it affects the brain. They see me as impatient and frustrated … somebody that needs more assistance than the average person who has no disabilities. I see myself as someone trying to break the stereotype of someone with a developmental disability and to show the world that just because you have a disability doesn’t mean there should be limits to what you can and can’t do.”

Caroline Joanisse

Living with FASD

Contact Information

For more information please contact
FASD Coordinator Team

613-761-9522 ext. 234

Please help us sustain this program by designating your donation to the Fetal Alcohol Resource Program

“We are excited about what the Fetal Alcohol Resource Program offers and their on-going efforts to educate people.  It’s a comfort knowing we are not alone and this organization is there to support and advocate for those affected who, sadly, are often misunderstood.  It’s crucial this organization continues its awareness campaign and significant work, in order for this population to succeed.”

Brenda Boylan


FASD Facts
What is FASD?
FASD is a medical diagnosis that describes the range of effects that can occur when prenatally exposed to alcohol:

  • An array of complex neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Lifelong physical complications
  • Mental and behavioural difficulties
  • Learning challenges

FASD is an invisible physical disability and the behaviours displayed are symptoms.

Why is alcohol so dangerous?
Alcohol is a neurotoxin and a teratogen. Both are substances that interfere with the normal development of a fetus and can cause cell dehydration/death, slow growth and birth defects.

One hundred per cent of the alcohol consumed crosses the placenta each and every time. With the full concentration of alcohol consumed remaining in the amniotic fluid up to three days. A fetus does not have a fully functioning liver so it is unable to eliminate alcohol from the environment. The Institute of Medicine reports that “of all substances (including cocaine, marijuana and heroin), alcohol produces by far, the most serious neurobehavioural effects to the fetus.”

Alcohol’s impact on the brain
Normal fetal brain development is orderly and sequential allowing the development of rich neural networks that link, integrate and associate.

Alcohol exposure during pregnancy results in changes to the developing brain at both the neurochemical and structural levels. A typical FASD brain has areas of undergrowth, overgrowth, gaps and tangles. Fewer brain cells alter brain chemistry and structure so basic cognitive and sensory responses are affected.

What we know about FASD
Often brain changes are not detected until a child reaches early or middle school age when problems at school and at home become increasingly apparent. The damage done to the brain is permanent. It cannot be cured. Individuals with FASD will require some level of support for the rest of their lives.


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Tel/Tel. 613-761-9522
TTY/ATS: 613-725-6175

Toll Free/Sans Frais: 1-866-222-2138
Fax/Télécopie: 613-761-9525


312 av. Parkdale Ave.,
Ottawa, ON, K1Y 4X5


Charitable Registration Number/Numéro d’enregistrement d’organisme de bienfaisance
13036 2817 RR0001