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CAPHC

The Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres presents a new webinar entitled Identifying the  Invisible: Screening for Youth Offenders with FASD. Dr. Albert Chudley, Deepa Singal (pHD student), Dr. Howard Bloom, and Sheila Burns will present  “recent research studies that have evaluated screening tools to help identify youth involved in the justice system who are at risk for having FASD”1

The webinar will take place Friday, Mar 8, 2013 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EST.

Register here

1- Maynard, D.  (2013/02/21).  Identifying the invisible: Screening for Youth Offenders with FASD.  Canadian Association of                                              Paediatric Health Centres.  Retrieved February 24, 2013, from http://ken.caphc.org/xwiki/bin/view/FASDScreeningToolkit/Identifying+the+invisible__Screening+for+Youth+offenders+with+FASD

**For previous posts about FASD and the criminal justice system, visit our criminal justice category.

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A new FASD Learning Series webcast takes place this Wednesday at 9:00 AM MST with Beatrice Demetrius (Manager of Genealogy, Métis Nation of Alberta), Kelsey Bradburn (Métis Children and Families Coordinator, Métis Nation of Alberta), and Sara Parker (BA, MPA, Director of intergovernmental Affairs, Métis Nation of Alberta). The topic is: Through a Métis Lens: Culturally Specific FASD Prevention and Intervention

This presentation will discuss FASD prevention and intervention efforts specific to the Métis population with a focus on Métis history and culture, relationship building, and community connections.

Register here.

Click here to sign in for the webcast once registered.

A list of upcoming webcasts  can be found on the Government of Alberta’s FASD Learning Series webpageArchived sessions are also available.

CAPHC

The Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres presents a new webinar in their “FASD- Beyond Screening Webinar Series”.  Dr.’s James Reynolds, Christian Beaulieu, Dan Goldowitz, and Joanne Weinberg will present “NeuroDevNet: FASD Research from the Lab to the Community”. NeuroDevNet is a Canada Research Centre of Excellence studying brain development in children. This presentation will focus on NeuroDevNet’s research and findings in the field of FASD.

The webinar will take place Wednesday February 13, 2013, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST.

Register here

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In my search for intervention information for this blog, I come across many strategies and research studies aimed at children and youth with FASD, which is wonderful. Early intervention and lots of it is a great thing. However, the reality of the situation is that fetal alcohol spectrum disorders do not disappear with time. If you have an FASD as a child, you continue to have it as an adult.

Research by Streissguth et. al.1 shows that adolescents and adults with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders function academically at an early grade school level. Their average adaptive functioning level (i.e. daily living skills, socialization skills, communication skills) is at the level of a typically developing 7 year old. Sixty two percent of adolescents and adults with FASD showed significant maladaptive behaviours, such as poor attention and concentration, teasing/bullying, crying or laughing too easily, dependency, stubbornness, social withdrawal, impulsivity, anxiety, and sullenness).

In another study on young adults with FASD2, the secondary disabilities associated with FASD (such as disrupted school experience, difficulties in the workplace, trouble with the law,and difficulty living independently) are very apparent in adulthood. Approximately half of the participants had needed special education, with only 38% having passed primary school and only 13% having passed high school. Despite a majority of participants having received some sort of job training/preparation, only 13%  of participants had ever been employed in a regular job. Only 30% of participants in this study were either living independently or with a partner/family of their own. The remaining 60% were institutionalized or in a dependent-living situation.

Given that we often find that adults with FASD function at the level of school-aged children, ideally they should be provided with the same amount of support we would give to a child. However, this is not always the case. According to the Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal, children with disabilities in Canada  receive child welfare protection until the age of 19.  In addition to this, many individuals  with prenatal alcohol exposure do not receive an FASD diagnosis (but still experience neurobehavioural issues and difficulties with daily living), meaning that without a diagnosis they might be cut off from child protective services at an earlier age (children and youth without disabilities in the child welfare system are eligible for child protective services until age 16-19, depending on the province).

Becoming an adult, leaving the  school system, and no longer receiving child welfare services can be a huge loss of consistency and support.

All of this begs the question: What are we doing to support adults with FASD?

In a recent article from the Sudbury Star entitled “We’re just different”, Matthew Pakozdy, a young adult with FASD, speaks about the difficulties and successes of living with FASD.

The take home message from this article? supports are needed for children and adults alike with FASD, and the right supports can make a difference. Pakozdy credits a supportive mother, reliable caregivers/advocates, support staff and friends for the positive changes he has made in his life.

A few other things mentioned in the article as essential supports for individuals with FASD are a permanent cellphone with easily accessible emergency phone numbers, regular income, housing alternatives, and help to foster emotional control and healthy relationships.

With increased awareness and research about FASD, organizations are jumping on board to support adults with FASD:  

Check out Community Living British Columbia‘s “Supporting Success for Adults with FASD”, an online resource for those who work with adults with FASD

MOFASThe Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) holds a support group for adults affected by an FASD every Monday until April 2, 2013 in Saint Paul, MN.

For other posts about adult interventions, see our archived articles under Adult Interventions.

For our readers: Know of an organization that helps adults with FASD? Share it here or send us an email so we can spread the word!

 

References:

1.         Streissguth, A.P., et al., Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in adolescents and adults. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 1991. 265: p. 1961-1967.

2.         Spohr, H.-L., J. Willms, and H. Steinhausen, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in young adulthood. The Journal of Pediatrics, 2007. 150(2): p. 175-179.e1.

 

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