Our Research

Yapatjarrathati projects

New ways to screen, diagnose and support children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)

FASD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders (ranging anywhere from 3-19% of children). Early intervention can improve the health, developmental and social outcomes for children with FASD. Yet, it is often underdiagnosed because, in Australia, specialists complete the assessment. This makes it time consuming, expensive, and difficult to access—particularly in rural and remote communities, where specialists are not readily available. 

The Yapatjarrathati projects—co-designed with First Nations communities and health providers in North West Queensland—develop, implement and evaluate culturally-responsive healthcare approaches, providing new ways to promote local, community-based FASD screening, diagnosis and support.

Child Doing Maze
Child Doing Maze

Diagnostic Accuracy of a Tiered Assessment for FASD  (DATAforFASD)

Can FASD be diagnosed accurately and cost effectively in primary care settings?

Diagnosing FASD involves a comprehensive assessment that requires specialist expertise across 10 neurodevelopmental domains. Assessments can take up to two days per child. Waitlists for urban-based specialists can be up to three years. 

This is the first project to determine whether rapid assessments, that can be completed in primary care, are as accurate at diagnosing FASD as comprehensive assessments, delivered by specialists. DATAforFASD also establishes the cost-effectiveness of completing assessments in primary care. 

Rapid Neurodevelopmental Assessment Australia (RNDA Aus)

Simplifying early identification of children who are neurodevelopmentally not-on-track

The YourTrack team is working with the Bangladesh Protibondhi Foundation to develop a version of the RNDA to be reliable and valid within Australia, including rural and remote Australia and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. 

The RNDA Aus uses direct observation of children up to 17 years to help identify the presence and severity of impairment so support interventions can start quickly and early.

Child Doing Maze