Improving Outcomes for Individuals, Families, and Agencies by Recognizing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and Modifying Approaches Accordingly

Many individuals struggle in treatment, corrections, child welfare, income, housing and other systems of care.  Although they often have behaviors that appear to be willful and non-compliant, for those with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), the behaviors are most often related to the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on the developing brain.  As they are often bright and verbal, their FASD is not typically recognized and they fail in programs based on cognitive abilities and verbal processing.  This session examines the brain basis of FASD.  Understanding this is key to working successfully with these adults.  Behaviors frequently seen are discussed, a screen for identifying adults with a possible FASD or other subtle cognitive impairments that interfere with treatment success is presented, and strategies for modifying approaches, including evidence based practices such as motivational interviewing and individual and group therapy are highlighted.


Participants will be able to:

  1. List brain structures impacted by prenatal alcohol exposure;
  2. Describe why behaviors identified as non-compliance and lack of motivation are actually due to brain processing issues and not willful choices in those with a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder;
  3. Examine a screen for identifying adults with a possible FASD;
  4. Identify modifications to approaches in treatment, housing, vocational services, and other systems for those with an FASD.

Who Should Attend? CEOs, COOs, clinicians, case workers, support coordinators, peers and other practitioners at the entry level, intermediate and advanced level of practice.