Tip of the Month

Jeff Noble, an FASD caregiver and advocate, once said: “If we change the way we act to someone living with Fetal Alcohol and their behaviors, they will change the way they react to ours. You can’t be a lit match going into a fireworks factory.”

"Yes I Can" Campaign: FASD is a Diagnosis, NOT a Definition

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To welcome the new year of 2023, FASD United started a new campaign “Yes I Can!” This campaign aims to show that people with FASD are capable. “FASD is a diagnosis, NOT a definition.”

People with FASD are often told what they can’t do because of their disability. But anyone who has ever met someone with a FASD know they can achieve a lot more than others might think! Researcher and advocate, Dr. Christie Petrenko, created a word cloud from data on the strengths and positive characteristics of people with FASD, which included phrases like helpful, loving, and caring! These positive attributes are highlighted in this campaign. You can read more about the research that contributed to this word cloud at this link:

This study’s lead author was Carson Kautz-Turnbull, a talented graduate student in our lab.

It’s important for people with FASD and the larger community to focus on their strengths and abilities. This plays an important role in quality of life. You can join and support the campaign right from home! Follow the FASD United social media channels and pay attention to what you and others around you can do. Together as a community, we can yell, “Yes I Can!”

TRANSFORM Podcast Highlights FASD

Kids Fighting

TRANSFORM (Translational Research that Adapts New Science FOR Maltreatment) center is a national center that focuses on research on child abuse and neglect. In their podcast, experts in different fields talk about topics on preventing abuse, advice for caregivers, and interventions to help children and family.

On Jan 3rd, 2023, Dr. Christie Petrenko was invited as a guest to talk about FASD in the podcast. Dr. Petrenko discussed recourses for primary care providers to learn about FASD and help their patients. She also talked about using the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) as a tool for providers to learn and collaborate remotely.

Check this podcast out:

Research Corner

Kids Fighting

Outcomes and needs of health and education professionals following fetal alcohol spectrum disorder-specific training
Reid, White, Hawkins, Crawford, Liu & Shanley, 2019

Despite the high prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), it often is underdiagnosed. A barrier to receiving a diagnosis and services for FASD is lack of awareness and knowledge in the healthcare field. A recent study by Reid and colleagues examined the experience of health professionals about FASD training, and how the training influenced their practice.

The participants in this study were 52 Australian and New Zealand health and education professionals. They completed an online questionnaire about their experience with FASD training, and their recommendations about providing services related to FASD. The questionnaire included both multiple choice and open-ended questions.

The data analysis showed that there was a wide range of FASD training length from 1 hour to 3 months, with most participants reported having 3 days of training. Researchers found that participants reported increased FASD training attendance in the past 5 years compared to previous years. The participants reported that their knowledge, awareness of FASD, and confidence of giving diagnosis were increased after the training. They were more likely to ask their clients about prenatal alcohol exposure and participate more in FASD assessments. These health professionals also identified barriers to provide FASD services, such as a limited amount of time and resources, and not having access to a multidisciplinary team. They recommended that families should receive better support and services after diagnosis. These positive findings from the study emphasize the importance of FASD training, and highlight the need for increased training and resources in the future.

FASD United Upcoming Events

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FASD United host a variety of virtual events. In February, there are Families Moving Forward (FMF) Specialist Training, Parenting Children with Prenatal Substance Exposure, Examining FASD Diagnosis ECHO, and Weekly Policy Drop-in. If you are interested, check their events out: