A child or adolescent with an FASD may have a combination of physical, neurodevelopmental, neurocognitive, and behavioral problems with each manifesting a range of severity. It is not known how many people in the United States have an FASD. Several initial studies, using active case findings of school-aged children, indicate that 1% to 5% of children in the United States may have an FASD. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data indicate that approximately 13.5% of pregnancies may have alcohol exposure.
An FASD diagnosis provides families, pediatricians and nonphysician clinicians a framework for understanding an individual’s behavior. Science indicates that therapeutic interventions, special education and support services improve outcomes for patients and families. The protective effect of early diagnosis can reduce the risk of additional disabilities and mitigate lifelong consequences. Ongoing care in a supportive pediatric home is an important component to achieving health and wellbeing for any child with an FASD and their family.
Dr. Douglas Waite MD, AAP FASD Champion
Dr. Waite is Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine Mount Sinai Hospital, was elected one of ten national FASD Champions by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2016, sits on the National Mental Health Advisory Board of the Child Welfare League of America, and is a member of the Society of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics. Dr. Waite has special interests in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and the effects of child abuse and neglect upon child development.
Dr. Jeffrey Wozniak PhD Neuropsychologist University of Minnesota
Today we give an overview of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), which includes a collection of disorders that occur when a fetus is exposed to alcohol. We discuss this topic with Jeffrey Wozniak, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist with extensive research and clinical experience in FASD. Dr. Wozniak’s research focuses on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. He directs the University’s FASD Research Program, which conducts neuroimaging, neurocognitive, and intervention studies in FASD. He is the past-president of the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Study Group (FASDSG) and is involved with the Collaborative Initiative on FASD (CIFASD), which is an ongoing multi-site imaging, neurobehavioral, genetic, and facial dysmorphology project.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists ACOG
Alcohol use during pregnancy continues to be a concern in the United States. Ob-gyns are uniquely situated to help combat alcohol-related mortality and morbidity before, during, and after pregnancy.
ACOG's FASD Prevention Program is a CDC-funded initiative. Our goal is to empower health care providers to speak with their patients about abstaining from alcohol use during pregnancy by providing ob-gyns with the resources and tools they need to communicate with patients about this public health issue. We also develop and compile resources for patients including FAQs, referral and treatment recommendations, fact sheets, and other educational materials.
The following strategies can be used to help women of childbearing age change their drinking behavior. They have been proven effective for use during office visits.
Boston University School of Medicine Podcast 2021
Laying the Foundation
We interview medical expert Dr. Vincent C. Smith of Boston Medical Center on the foundational science of FASDs, including definitions, prevalence, diagnosis, and other challenges. We also begin our conversation with Carol, a mother whose child is affected by prenatal alcohol exposure, who discusses her life when she became pregnant and when her daughter was diagnosed with an FASD.
We interview Ms. Enid Watson, MDiv, of MassFAS and the Institute for Health & Recovery, about the various implications of FASDs and their impacts on children and families. We continue our interview with Carol who discusses the shame and stigma of having a child with an FASD, as well as what life is like for her adult daughter.
Working Toward Prevention
We interview public health social worker Ms. Alexandra Heinz on the risks and classifications of alcohol use, as well as the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment model. We also listen in on two standardized patient counseling sessions followed by Alex’s debrief and commentary.
Information on FASD and current NIAAA FASD studies and research
"Families Moving Forward (FMF) is based on the idea that children with FASD have brain-based difficulties - neurological impairments - that are the underlying cause of many learning and behavioral problems. Caregivers learn Positive Behavior Support, Motivational Interviewing, and other evidence-based techniques.'Reframing' and 'accommodations' help them change their own attitudes and how they manage the child, which leads to improvements in the child's behavior. Remote Training is available for mental health professionals and agencies."
Proof Alliance offers comprehensive, customized training on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) for a variety of individuals – medical providers, high school and college students, educators, social workers, chemical health workers, caregivers, criminal justice workers, therapists, and other social/human service providers.
Resource for Parents, caregivers, providers, educators, law enforcement, community stakeholders.
"FASD United works to prevent prenatal exposure to alcohol, drugs, and other substances known to harm fetal development by raising awareness and supporting women before and during their pregnancy, and supports individuals, families, and communities living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) and other preventable intellectual/developmental disabilities."
Nate's brain-based approach is unique and allows for us to value a person's brain regardless of who they are. He helps parents and professionals understand the complex demands of everyday situations, allowing us to problem-solve alternative support strategies.
Meets the person where they are at
Focuses on connection & safety over compliance and "normal" behaviors
We help families and professionals working with individuals with brain-based disabilities to feel confident and supported by providing a library of resources and a sense of community so that they are empowered in supporting these individuals and advocating for their own needs.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Consultation and Training Services
"Our mission is to cultivate empathy and deepen understanding of one another through recognizing and celebrating neurodiversity...This training is intended for professionals as well as parents and other caregivers of children with confirmed or suspected FASD or other brain-based conditions. Our experience is that the training is enriched by having a mixed group of parents, caregivers, and professionals."
"FAFASD is pleased to offer a variety of workshops and trainings focusing on FASD as a neurobehavioral disorder. These trainings explain FASD and help caregivers and professionals working with individuals and families affected by FASD create a plan for success. The workshops and trainings are based on current research and writings around best practices when parenting, working with, or supporting persons with FASDs, and include many personal anecdotes, stories, and examples of positive change."
"When challenging behaviors are viewed through the lens of the neurobehavioral model, they take on a different meaning, reducing frustration and reactivity while increasing understanding". Based on the Neurobehavioral Model developed by Diane Malbin
FASD Education Ongoing Webinars Online Support Groups
"We started FASD Hope as a podcast / website / resource about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) to share our viewpoint as parent advocates with over 18 years of lived experience. We like to say that our podcast is about awareness, information & inspiration for our listeners. Thank you for listening and learning more about FASD Hope. You are not alone in your journey of FASD! Please reach out to us about topics you’d like to hear on our podcast!"
A primer for families and providers, written by a social worker with decades of expertise and personal experience as a parent of individuals with FASD.
Dr. Ann Striessguth was a professor (now retired) in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and former director of the Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit at the University of Washington. Dr. Streissguth's seminal work on maternal alcohol and drug use and FASD paved the way for much of the FASD research, prevention, and intervention of today.
Although this text was published in 1997 and the statistics and some terminology are outdated, her writing, based on decades of research at that time, "will help physicians, psychologists, social workers, educators, advocates, and families of children and adults with FAS work toward an educated community, a supportive network of legislation and programs, and better futures for people living and growing with FAS." (from book jacket)
Dr. Streissguth's well thought out chapters on comprehensive plans of action for schools, human services, and public policy could have been written today; FASD-informed policy and practices continue to be largely absent from these systems.
Community Mental Health Journal February 2021
Purvis, Karyn.The Connected Child. McGraw-Hill Education.2007
Rodger, Ellen,and Goswell, Rosie. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Crabtree Publishing 2014. Written for the teen with FASD and their families.
Accessible and informative, this is a helpful guide to FASD for social workers, family placement teams, foster parents, adoptive parents, and teachers.
The FASD Project
The FASD project is a film seeking to rapidly increase awareness of the risks of alcohol consumption in pregnancy within a short period of time, given the significant increase in alcohol consumption since the onset of the global pandemic. This film aims to bring awareness about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and provide detailed scientific information on prevention, while aiming to start discussions about solutions to current problems facing the community.
FASD United (Formerly NOFAS National Organization of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome )
This NOFAS YouTube site includes interviews with FASD professionals which cover topics such as the prevalence of FASD, understanding the spectrum of diagnoses under FASD, teaching strategies for children with FASD, the legal system and the child or adult with FASD, support for birth mothers, support for adoptive parents of children with an FASD, research on FASD, and FASD treatment and intervention.
Deb Evensen, MA has been educating school districts and other organizations about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders for more than 35 years, in Alaska and beyond.
Developed by Deb Evensen and Jan Lutke
This animated video, introduced by Deb Evensen, teaches simple practical strategies for working with all children – but especially designed for children with a history of prenatal alcohol exposure (FASD), trauma and other brain-based differences. While the video shows a school setting, the techniques were developed for children in community settings like after school programs and at home, as well as schools. These techniques are fun, easy to use – and make a positive difference for children and the professionals working with them. Alaska Children's Trust
Dr. Lyn Laboriel MD
Parent Training FASD
Lyn Laboriel M.D. is an experienced developmental and behavioral pediatrician. She is a graduate of Boston University School of Medicine, with broad experience in identification, diagnosis, intervention, and educational strategies with a wide spectrum of developmental disabilities and learning styles in infants, pre-schoolers, school-age children, and adolescents. She began work at the Violence Intervention Program(VIP) to assist in the founding of the specialized Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Clinic in 2004, now the largest in the country.
*This video was produced in 2014. More recent research has found the prevalence of FASD in children in the U.S. to be as many as 1/20, 5% (2018).