Back to School #2: FASD In Educational Settings. Part 1 – Simon Laplante

Simon

Simon Laplante is the Co-Chair of the CanFASD Family Advisory Committee and the adoptive father of a courageous young woman who struggles daily with ARND. He has a master’s degree in education and did his thesis on the impact of children with FASD on parents’ relationships with the school, community, and each other. Simon has been working in the Manitoba public school system for 30 years as a teacher, vice-principal, principal, and assistant superintendent. He is presently a professor at the Université de St-Boniface in the Faculty of Education. Simon’s areas of interest are educational leadership, second language learning, Aboriginal education, and FASD. Fully bilingual, Simon has been involved in public speaking engagements on FASD for the last 10 years in educational settings and provincial conferences.

Simon can be reached at slaplante@shaw.ca.

Let’s be honest! Some educators know very little about FASD.  Many caregivers will testify to this lack of FASD awareness among teachers and educational leaders in general. It is not that people don’t care – they do! But caring and knowing how to work with students who have FASD are a world apart!

Students with FASD tend to do better in elementary school settings and struggle in secondary school settings. In fact, some high school students with FASD may not graduate. Some of the fundamental differences between elementary and secondary school are relationship and consistency. While in elementary school, a student with FASD will spend most of their day with the same teacher, forging trust and predictability. In secondary settings, going from one teacher to the other every hour or so, and having to adjust to different teaching styles and expectations, can be overwhelming for these students.

High schools need to really re-think their approaches when educating students with FASD to build stronger relationships and support educational success!

Simon Laplante
Educator and FAC member

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