NOFAS Weekly Roundup - May 11, 2015

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NEW AT NOFAS   May 11, 2015  
Adoptive Mother Lyn on
Getting an FASD Diagnosis

In honor of Mother's Day, NOFAS has produced this moving video interview with Lyn, an adoptive mother of a person with FASD. Lyn talks about her journey to get an FASD diagnosis for her son. WATCH NOW.

NOFAS Interview with Young Woman with FASD, Maryellen W.

This interview is the latest in our NOFAS series “Get to Know Me: My Life with FASD.” 

Maryellen W. is a 22-year old living in Utah. She recently spoke with NOFAS Media Producer, Andy Kachor, sharing her insight on living with FASD and the stigma that surrounds the disorder.


Mobilizing the FASD Community to Take Action
Free NOFAS Webinar

WED, May 20  |  2:00-3:00 pm ET  

The webinar will be presented by Sara Messelt, Executive Director of MOFAS, Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Since 1998, the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) has led the cause of preventing FASD and alcohol related birth defects.



In-Depth Article on Pregnant Women Being
Jailed for Using Alcohol and Drugs

This article in The Atlantic states, “In an effort to protect children in the midst of addiction epidemics, some states are jailing women for using drugs during pregnancy. But is incarceration the best approach?”  The article quotes from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a NOFAS partner, whose position states, “The use of the legal system to address perinatal alcohol and substance abuse is inappropriate.”

Irish Health Minister Urged to
Take Action on FASD

“Former junior health minister Roisín Shortall accused current [Ireland] Health Minister Leo Varadkar of treating the [FASD] matter as “something of no consequence” after he said in a parliamentary question that the Department of Health does not know how many people are affected by FASD. nor would he commit resources to improving education and screening in the area.” – Irish Examiner

Marijuana's Effects on Pregnancy and Newborns

This is a new video from the Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) on the dangers of marijuana use during pregnancy and newborns. “Dr. Laura Borgelt, Professor at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy, discusses the effects marijuana use can have on women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, the unborn child, and newborns.”


Maryland Caregiver Survey Results

Here are the results of the recent statewide Maryland Caregiver Survey.  More than 1800 people completed the survey. If you are interested in completing the survey, please go to



APA: Growing Recognition of Prevalence of Disorders
Brought on by Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

This article, published in the American Psychiatric Association’s Psychiatric News states, “It’s the single leading preventable cause of neuro-developmental disorders, yet many clinicians believe that prenatal alcohol exposure does not receive the attention and support it deserves.”

FASD Among Children in a Brazilian Orphanage

The objective of this study was to investigate the frequency FASD and ophthalmologic anomalies in orphanage children in Brazil. - Göteborgs Universitet



When Someone with an FASD is Arrested: What You Need to Know (Video) 

View the video recording of this webinar presented by Dr. Paul Connor. The webinar discusses research on how commonly troubles with the law occurs for people with FASD, and how many of the cognitive difficulties that occur in FASD can lead to problems when interacting with police, attorneys, and judges. WATCH NOW.




Upcoming Webinars

Free NOFAS Webinar: 
Mobilizing the FASD Community to Take Action
WED, May 20, 2015.
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST.

The webinar will be presented by Sara Messelt, Executive Director of MOFAS, Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.   Since 1998, the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) has led the cause of preventing FASD and alcohol related birth defects.

MOFAS FASD Webinar: 
Challenges and Strategies
for Rehab Specialists

WED, May 27, 2015
Noon – 1:00 PM Central Time.

Featuring: Megan Bresnahan: Occupational Therapist at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.  This webinar will provide “education and resources for rehab specialists (Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists and Speech Language Pathologists) and other professionals who evaluate and treat children with a FASD.”



Upcoming Events

Here are some upcoming events in the FASD Community: 

Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity 
May 18 & 19, 2015. Honolulu, Hawaii. “The 2015 conference theme is Deep Impact.  Recognizing our shared responsibility, how can we strengthen the positive impact we already have on our communities, regions, and countries and in the world? By attending the conference, you will be part of a wide network of individuals and communities who strive to make a positive difference in the world for our hundreds of millions of fellow human beings who just want a shot at living to their own full potential.  Be there and share your brilliance with the world.”

Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) for alcohol and other drug use: An Interprofessional Conference 
June 9-10, 2015. Pittsburgh, PA. “Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is a public health and evidence-based practice used to identify, reduce, and prevent problematic use, abuse, and dependence on alcohol and illicit drugs… The target audience for this conference are health professionals – nurses, nurse practitioners, doctors, pharmacists, dentists, dental hygienists, behavioral health counselors, social workers, and public health workers.”

FETAL ALCOHOL & OTHER NEUROBEHAVIORAL CONDITIONS: Understanding & Application of a Brain-Based Approach 
July 9-11, 2015. Portland, Oregon. “This session provides information about FASD and the effects of alcohol and other drugs on behaviors of children, adolescents and adults. FASD is a brain-based, neurobehavioral condition. The workshop will educate you on the current status of research for identification and on a best practices approach for treatment and accommodations. The goal is to increase understanding, reduce frustration, and expand options.”

Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA) National Conference November 5-7, 2015. Washington, DC. “This year's theme is "Integrating Policy and Research into Teaching and Practice." We have planned an exciting conference featuring oral abstract and poster sessions, skills-focused workshops, one-on-one career mentoring, and plenary sessions addressing issues of national and international importance. Conference Travel Awards are available!”

Call for Presentations: MOFAS FASD Matters Conference 
November 19-20, 2015. Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. MOFAS is looking for presentations that: provide new information, ideas and solutions for families, agencies, and systems to implement, share innovative strategies, tools, and best practices, increase the knowledge, skills, and abilities of those living and/or working with someone with an FASD.


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