FASD classroom reaches higher grades in Waterloo Region

Waterloo Region had great success with its elementary school classroom for children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, but until this week, there was nowhere for the children to go once they'd reached Grade 8.
Kathy Moreland and her son Austin Layte. Austin has Fetal Alchohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), but a specialized classroom regime has meant he not only stays in school, he thrives. (Melanie Ferrier/CBC)

Waterloo Region had success with its elementary school classroom for children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), but until this week, there was nowhere for the children to go once they'd reached grade 8. 

Now, a classroom for youth entering higher grades has opened at Waterloo Collegiate Institute.

Austin Layte, 13, said having in-classroom support from teachers and staff who understand the learning and attention challenges people with FASD face has revolutionized his learning experience. Now that he doesn't have to face the challenges of learning in a conventional classroom, he said he's looking forward to high school, getting an education and developing skills for a trade.

"I want to learn more math," he said. 

Austin and his mother, Kathy Moreland, spoke with Craig Norris on The Morning Edition about the difficulties that students with FASD can face in the classroom, and the importance of having the program extend from elementary grades right into high school.