NOFAS Weekly Roundup August 10, 2015

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NEW AT NOFAS   August 10, 2015  
Circle of Hope - August Newsletter

Check out the latest newsletter from the NOFAS Circle of Hope, a peer mentoring network for birth mothers of children living with FASD.  

This September join the Circle of Hope campaign to STAMP OUT STIGMA!  FASD prevention is challenging! One of the greatest barriers we face is the STIGMA associated with FASD and drinking during pregnancy. There is a tendency to single out women and blame the birth mother of the child, even though most women either don't know the facts about drinking during pregnancy, or may not even know they are pregnant.  Blaming never helps – it always hurts.  More details on this STAMP OUT STIGMA campaign will be coming soon. 

You can print copies of the Circle of Hope newsletter and distribute them to women who may be currently in treatment centers or underserved populations that may not have access to a computer. 

Circle of Hope founder Kathy Mitchell is facilitating a webinar August 13 on “Creating a Circle of Hope for Women and their Families.”



MOFAS Annual Report:
Reducing Stigma Around FASD

MOFAS “wants to change the social norm around drinking alcohol while pregnant. Through educating and creating awareness about this issue, and giving a voice and face to the families and individuals that live with the challenges of this disability every day, MOFAS hopes to remove the stigma and blame associated with FASD, and create a world where women do not drink alcohol when pregnant and people with an FASD are living healthy and productive lives.”

Father of a Child with FASD Raises Awareness

This article profiles Terry Hawks and his daughter Aleena, who lives with FASD.  Today, at 39-years-old, Aleena works as a teacher’s aide in a 3rd grade classroom.  “When asked what she’d say to young women thinking about getting pregnant who might still be consuming alcohol Aleena is quick to respond. “Don’t do it,” she said. “It’s going to effect your child when it’s born. They’ll have a hard time learning and it’s not worth it.”
- The Spectrum

Plea for More FASD Support

“A South Island [New Zealand] couple who foster two daughters with FASD fear one of them could end up in court because they do not get adequate support… In many areas, including most of the South Island, there's no access to best practice FASD assessment or diagnostic services at all… there was also an overwhelming lack of understanding on how to treat it.”
- Radio New Zealand

Woman with FASD Plays Extreme Sports

This article profiles Tedi Bowler, a woman living with FASD.  “At 35, after watching the X Games, Bowler began skateboarding.  For more than a decade, Bowler says, “I’ve been able to fully enjoy extreme sports.”  She’s worked two or three jobs at a time, since she was 19. Her Fetal Alcohol Syndrome made it hard to keep any one job, she says, so she has done mostly temp work.”
- The Rainbow Times

‘Problem Child’ Living with FASD
Gets a Chance

“A teenager who ticks all the “problem child” boxes, has been given a chance for rehabilitation at two separate court sentencings… He was born with fetal alcohol syndrome. Judge John Strettell said that partly explained but did not excuse his offending.”
- Christchurch Court News

Government of Canada
Announces FASD Funding

The Canadian Government “announced an investment to strengthen training and support for FASD in Yukon. This investment will increase community awareness, focus on prevention and fund training for front-line staff.  The Yukon government will receive $260,000 in funding for a project targeting training and awareness initiatives for staff and healthcare workers.”
- CNW Newswire



Neurobehavioral Disorder Associated with Prenatal Alcohol
Exposure (ND-PAE): Proposed DSM-5 Diagnosis

“Defining this disorder is a necessary step to adequately characterize these symptoms and allow clinical assessment not possible using existing physically-based diagnostic schemes. Without appropriate diagnostic guidelines, affected individuals are frequently misdiagnosed and treated inappropriately (often to their considerable detriment) by mental health, educational, and criminal justice systems.”
- Child Psychiatry & Human Development
Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and the Developing Immune System
Evidence from research in humans and animals suggest that ingesting alcohol during pregnancy can disrupt the fetal immune system and result in an increased risk of infections and disease in newborns that may persist throughout life.
- Alcohol Research Current Reviews
Maternal Alcohol Intake Around the Time of Conception
Causes Glucose Intolerance and Insulin Insensitivity

“Alcohol consumption throughout pregnancy can cause metabolic dysregulation, including glucose intolerance in progeny… Maternal alcohol intake around the time of conception causes glucose intolerance and insulin insensitivity in rat offspring, which is exacerbated by a postnatal high-fat diet.”
- Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biolog


August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month
August has been designated as Breastfeeding Awareness Month in an effort to make mothers and families aware of the realities and potential benefits of breastfeeding.  The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) provides an online article about the effects of alcohol on the breastfeeding process, highlighting the benefits for nursing mothers to remain alcohol-free after the baby is born.


FASD Research Study for Parents in Canada
If you have a child (age 4-12) who has been diagnosed with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder you may be able to take part in a study for a parenting program designed to help you deal with your child's challenging behaviors.  Please note: You must live in Canada to take part in this study.


NOFAS Recorded webinar:
The Role of the Social Worker in Preventing,
Identifying and Treating FASD

This webinar was presented by Dr. Leigh Tenkku Lepper and David Deere, LCSW.

This webinar examined the role of the social worker in the prevention, identification and treatment of FASD. The webinar offered a discussion on how the social worker can utilize alcohol screening and brief intervention with their female clients to prevent them from having an alcohol-exposed pregnancy. This webinar provided what we currently know in how to identify clients who may present with symptoms of having a potential FASD.