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News from the Consensus Development Conference on Legal Issues of FASD


The Consensus Development Conference on Legal Issues of FASD wrapped up Friday Sept. 18, 2013 in Edmonton.

A quick update for those who were not in attendance: The three day conference featured presentations from experts in the field of FASD on a broad range of topics concerning FASD as a disorder and its relation to the justice system. A “jury” of legal experts attended the conference and, following the second day of presentations, wrote a consensus document highlighting the information they had garnered from the presentations. Also included in this document were recommendations for the justice system based on information from presentations. The consensus document was well received by speakers and attendees alike.

Specific questions addressed by the jury’s consensus document included:

1. What are the implications of FASD for the legal system?

2. Is there a need for enhanced efforts to identify people with FASD, and how can these efforts be achieved?

3. How can the criminal justice system respond more effectively to those with FASD?

4. How can family courts and the family/child welfare legal system address the specific needs of people with FASD?

5. What are the best practices for guardianship, trusteeship and social support in a legal context?

6. What legal measures are there in different jurisdictions to contribute to the prevention of FASD, and what are the ethical and economic implications of these measures?

Included in the consensus document was the recommendation that conditional sentences be allowed for individuals with FASD. The Montreal Gazette featured this recommendation in a recent article titled “Panel says Criminal Code should allow conditional sentences for people with FASD”

Montreal Gazette FASD justice conf article

Stay tuned: The conference website states that the  final draft of the consensus document will be made available to those interested in the subject. We have contacted the conference organizers to get the scoop on where the document will be distributed and will let you know once we have heard back.



The fall edition of the iNAT FASD Intervention News will be sent out soon! This quarter’s newsletter contains information on a couple of great FASD intervention research studies, upcoming events, an interview with caregiver Elaine Cousineau, and more!

Subscribe now to get the upcoming edition and receive quarterly updates on all things FASD intervention!



Another FASD social group from MOFAS!

If you are an individual living with FASD, Minnesota would not be a bad place to be! The Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing FASD and improving the lives of those dealing with FASD. They run numerous events, learning opportunities, and support groups throughout the year.

We have featured many programs and events offered by MOFAS in the past on this blog. The latest MOFAS program that drew our attention is their “Young Adults Activity Club” (YAAC), where older adolescents and young adults with FASD can participate in social activities while caregivers take a break.

Given the social difficulties that can come with FASD and the harmful consequences they often hold (For a review, see Kully-Martens, Denys, Treit, Tamana, & Rasmussen, 2012 or check out our social skills page on the KnowFASD wiki to learn more), social exposure for adolescents and adults with FASD is valuable. This program provides a great example of the social opportunities needed by individuals with FASD, while providing the opportunity for caregivers to have some down time (it is recommended that individuals with FASD bring a friend or personal care assistant to the group).

Click on the image above for more information.

For other MOFAS programs and learning opportunities, check out their Fall 2013 Family Support and Activities and the MOFAS Calendar.


Kully-Martens, K., Denys, K., Treit, S., Tamana, S., Rasmussen, C. (2012). A review of social skills deficits in individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and prenatal alcohol exposure: profiles, mechanisms, and interventions. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 36(4), 568-76.

Living with FASD Summit 2013

A free online 12 day event (September 9-20, 2013) for families living with FASD. The summit provides information and practical strategies that can be implemented at home.  Two interviews take place each day (at 10:00 AM PDT and 2:00 PM PDT), some of which will be followed by Q&A sessions. If you are registered and are unable to attend at the time of the interviews, videos will be available to for 48 hours.

There is a great line-up of speakers with a large number of presentations focused on intervention topics. Click on the image above to check it out!


Some more great tips from the folks at Edmonton Fetal Alcohol Network for going back to school:


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