Medicine Wheel Tools for FASD Screening


These tools were developed to provide a culturally sensitive assessment or screening tool with a broad enough lens to take in the broad range of needs and strengths that exist in an aboriginal school and community system. At the present time there is no culturally sensitive school screening tool to determine which children should be referred for assessment of conditions that seriously impair behavior and learning such as trauma or pre-natal exposures to alcohol and/or drugs. There are also few pedagogical models or interventions appropriate to a modern aboriginal school and community system. These tools were developed to help educators and other service professionals determine individual and collective ‘needs and strengths’ in an indigenous school and community system.

The Medicine Wheel Tools Consist Of:

The Medicine Wheel Tools have not been normed to large population samples. They are useful for screening, referral, needs assessment and goal setting in a community setting. They should not be used, however, as the sole criteria for determination of specific disabilities. Individuals with high level of needs should be referred to appropriate service professionals and if possible connected to community elders.  

In the Medicine Wheel approach screening leads to referral for assessment and diagnosis if necessary. The purpose of the screening process is an intervention that will help the individual grow and heal and reconnect to their own possibilities.


  • Lori Vitale Cox

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Medicine Wheel Screening Tools for FASD