Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD): Diagnosis and FASD-Informed Care
This webinar will provide an overview of and concrete steps to clinically diagnose and treat fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are conditions that can occur when a fetus is exposed to alcohol during pregnancy. Symptoms range from subtle characteristic facial features, growth delays, neurological features, learning and behavioral difficulties, and other birth defects such as heart, kidney, or eye problems. FASDs are life-long conditions and are estimated to affect up to 2 to 5% of the population. Unfortunately, many people have limited knowledge about FASDs and these conditions often go unrecognized or misdiagnosed. Proper diagnosis and treatment can improve development and overall health of children and families across the lifespan.
Lynn Cole, MS specializes in the care of children with complex developmental and behavioral challenges. She has particular expertise in autism, intellectual disability, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, and the health and behavioral challenges these children experience. She provides comprehensive care, looking at the interaction between health, development, child behavior, family and community factors. Ms. Cole bases her patient care approach on listening to families. Families know their child best and she recognizes the importance of working toward family goals for their child. Visits are usually low-pressure for the child, as she works hard to engage children in activities and topics of their interest and ability. Ms. Cole has expertise in the assessment and management of common health problems experienced by children with developmental delays and disabilities. She works with families to find treatments that work for the child and family.
Christie Petrenko, PhD is a clinical psychologist and researcher with expertise in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Her research focuses on increasing evidence-based interventions to improve outcomes for people with FASD and their families. Guided by a developmental psychopathology perspective, Dr. Petrenko's research aims to understand the interplay of risk and protective factors across ecological levels that influence the development of secondary conditions, such as mental health problems, school disruption, trouble with the law, and substance use. This work informs her conceptualization and development of novel interventions to improve outcomes for people with FASD and foster family adaptation. Randomized controlled trials testing these interventions also provide an empirical test of hypothesized mechanisms. Given the lack of FASD-informed care in the community, Dr. Petrenko prioritizes the investigation of both efficacy and implementation parameters to identify the best approaches to improve access and outcomes for people with FASD in the community.