Improving Outcomes by Recognizing and Responding to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) in Individuals in Treatment (webinar)
Pregnant/Parenting Women and Substance Use Webinar Series: Part 1
When an individual has behaviors that cause difficulty in treatment settings, we often label the person as being non-compliant, unmotivated, or disruptive. When they are back in treatment numerous times, we say that they are not ready for sobriety. However, their behavior may well be due to brain damage caused by prenatal alcohol exposure, which is much more common than most people suspect. Due to this damage, which spans the intellectual spectrum, evidence based practices that rely on verbal interactions and reward and consequence systems are often not successful with them and set them up to fail. The majority of those with an FASD are not diagnosed and many have been misdiagnosed. As a result, typical interventions for them in substance use and mental health treatment, corrections, child welfare, and other systems of care are often ineffective and are frequently contraindicated.
This presentation addresses the importance of recognizing an FASD in those with whom we work or live. The brain damage seen in FASD is examined, along with common behaviors that result from this damage. A method of identifying those with an FASD is identified and how to modify treatment is touched on.
By the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:
- Identify the estimated prevalence of FASD.
- Describe structures of the brain that are commonly affected in individuals with an FASD.
- List reasons for the reluctance in identifying the impact of FASD in treatment.
- Recall two studies that highlight why approaches need to be modified for those with an FASD.
Presenter: Dan Dubovsky has worked for over 40 years in the field of behavioral health as a direct care worker in residential treatment and a therapist in residential and outpatient settings. He has been involved in FASD for over 30 years. For the past several years, he has focused on the development and implementation of a screening, assessment and modification protocol for children, adolescents, and adults. For 15 years he was the FASD Specialist at the SAMHSA FASD Center for Excellence. For his work in FASD, his son Bill has been his mentor and best teacher.