Federal Government Announces Funding for NeuroDevNet Stronger Families FASD Project

July 26, 2012

Halifax (July 26, 2012) – The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announced $1.1 million in funding for two research teams looking at intervention programs aimed at improving outcomes for children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families.

"Our government is committed to continuously supporting research that focuses on the best health care services for children with fetal alcohol or autism spectrum disorders," said Minister Aglukkaq, announcing the first two initiatives funded under the latest competition under the Canadian Institutes for Health Research’s Partnerships Health Systems Improvement (PHSI) program.

"We are pleased to invest, with other partners, in projects that will assess intervention programs offered to these children, who often are confronted with social, personal and cognitive development problems,” added the Minister. “This important work will provide essential information that will guide policy and more effective delivery of services to children who live with these disorders and their families."

NeuroDevNet principal investigator Patrick McGrath of the IWK Health Centre in Nova Scotia and his group will receive $414,858 in support through CIHR and the Public Health Agency of Canada, as well as $118,486 from partners including NeuroDevNet, Queen’s University and the IWK Health Centre. McGrath and his group will develop and evaluate a parent training program for challenging behaviour in children with FASD.

The project, “Parent training for challenging behaviour in children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD): Strongest Families for FASD” will engage parents, guardians, decision makers and experts in FASD, as well as parent training specialists. The intent of the program is to address the service gaps and limited access that currently face families seeking support.

Strongest Families for FASD is the product of collaboration between NeuroDevNet’s FASD and Knowledge Translation research groups.

Minister Aglukkaq also announced PHSI funding of a study of two early childhood autism intervention programs being led by Isabel Smith of the IWK Health Centre, among 27 projects funded through the PHSI program. The program was established to support teams of researchers and health care decision makers to develop and implement solutions to health care challenges. Projects are co-funded by partners in the public and private sectors.