“Dan Dubovsky—Common Strengths of Students with FASD”

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POPFASD Youtube channel is an interesting resource for those looking to learn more about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder within the area of education. The most recent video “Dan Dubovsky—Common Strengths of Students with FASD” published on October 20, 2015 is a short six minute lecture by Dan Dubovsky who has worked in the field of FASD for over 35 years. The video features Dubovsky offering insight based on his experience and expertise on common but often misrecognized (or socially unacknowledged) skills and abilities that he associates with people affected by FASD.

Dubovsky is the parent of a child living with FASD and refers to his son in the video. He speaks to his experiences both as a parent and as a therapist while offering a counter message to educators on how to encourage the success of students with FASD. Dubovsky states that throughout his work he has recognized many similar abilities and strengths amongst those living with the disorder. He speaks about various qualities, unique talents, and areas in which many of these students excel. He acknowledges that there is no essential FASD experience and that there are certainly many downsides; however, he also considers it vital to recognize the good with the bad.

What are your thoughts on the video? Share your take on it!

Ali McCudden November 3, 2015

 

“Dispensers at Yukon College, Dirty Northern pub”

“Dispensers at Yukon College, Dirty Northern pub”

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE ARTICLE

By: Philippe Morin, CBC News, 29 March 2015

Accessed on: 29 March 2015

Commentary by: Sarah Cibart

A few weeks ago Whitehorse became home to a research project out of the University of Alaska Anchorage. The project, funded by the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society Yukon (FASSY), focuses on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD. A major part of the project involves pregnancy test dispensers in washrooms meant to encourage women to ensure they are not pregnant before they consume alcohol. The second piece of this project aims to provide women with education and support surrounding pregnancy and alcohol consumption. The dispenser with pregnancy tests also has a QR Code (smartphone scanner) which links to FASD resources and a survey. If the women complete the survey, they are entered to win a $15 iTunes gift card.

In this article the interviewer speaks with Jessica Fulmer, who lives with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and is a mother herself. Fulmer states that she would have found it much easier to take a pregnancy test in college had the washrooms offered an accessible, affordable, and discreet dispenser. “It is scary to learn you are pregnant”, said Fulmer, “this is one thing that will help break the stigma.”

Wendy Bradly, Director of FASSY, says the pregnancy test dispensers help normalize the process of testing for pregnancy. It is her hope that these dispensers become as normalized as condom dispensers in public washrooms. New and innovative methods of surveying ways to support women in FASD prevention are both valuable and groundbreaking.

FASD & the Law: Free Workshop – March 2015

February Update:

This will be a pre-conference event prior to 6th International Conference on FASD called “Research: Results and Relevance 2015” that is being held March 4-7 in Vancouver B.C. The pre-conference session on FASD & the Law will feature upwards of 20 short presentations. We are currently finalizing the schedule of speakers but emerging themes currently include: justice and law, corrections and incarceration, research and training, as well as family and care providers’ perspectives on justice encounters. We will have a complete list of speakers and schedule available in late January so stay tuned. This event is free and is open to the public. We do ask that you register for the event by contacting: faslaw@uw.edu Please share this event with your contacts and we hope to see you in Vancouver in the Spring!  See the preliminary schedule below – and register today! Please share with contacts and check out the facebook page by clicking here.

FASD & The Law:

Continuing the Conversation about Current Research, Best Practices & Ethical Considerations

Welcome

Registration and Coffee—8:00am to 8:15am

Welcome and Opening Comments (Fia Jampolsky, Kathryn Kelly & Michelle Stewart)—8:15am to 8:30am

Session I

FASD, Mental Health & Wellness Courts—8:30am to 9:15am

·       Judge Toth (Canada), Just Do It: How to Start a FASD Court Without Resources and Actually Get Something Done

·       Suzie Kuerschner (Canada), Wellness Court & Sentencing Plans for Defendants Living with FASD

·       Kelly Rain Collins (USA), Juvenile Mental Health Court

 

FASD in the Courts—9:15am to 10:15am

·       Judge Jeffrey (USA), TBD

·       Judge Wartnik (USA), FASD: Perseveration and Being “Bored”

·       Frances Gordon (Canada), FASD and the Principles of Sentencing: A Turn in the Road since R v Charlie

·       Magistrate Crawford (Australia), TBD

BREAK—10:15am to 10:30am

Thinking with Families and Youth about FASD and the Law—10:30 to 11:15am

·       Dorothy Reid, Canada FASD Research Network (Canada), Don’t Forget About Us: A Family’s Perspective on FASD and the Law

·       Dr. Lori Cox (Canada), The Nogemag Healing Lodge: Working with Youth and Families with FASD

·       Kee Warner & Deb Evenson (Canada), Not The Same Old Kettle of Fish: Communicating for Comprehension

 

Discussion Session One: Ethical Considerations—11:15am to 12:00pm

Presentation:

Dr. Amy Salmon (Canada), Engaging the Criminal-Legal System in FASD Prevention: Current Debates and Implications for Reproductive Justice

Audience and Panelists Discussion Hosted by: Fia Jampolsky

·       Emerging & best practices regarding FASD in the legal system

·       Ethical issues raised in these practices and possible remedies

 

LUNCH—12:00pm to 1:00pm

SESSION II

 

Youth Interventions—1:00pm to 2:00pm

·       Dr. Christina Chambers (USA), Screening for FASD among Juvenile Detainees in San Diego

·       Dr. Maya Peled (Canada), Breaking Through the Barriers: Supporting Youth with FASD Who had Substance Abuse Challenges

·       Dr. Steven Youngentob (USA), Prenatal Alcohol Exposure: The Role of Chemosensory Fetal Programming in Adolescent Alcohol and Nicotine Acceptance.

·       Richard Willier (Canada), FASD and Youth Diversions

Education and Justice Outreach—2:00pm to 2:30pm
· ·       Heather Jones (Australia) Developing FASD Educational Interventions for Justice Professionals

·       Dr. Michelle Stewart (Canada) Managing Expectations: Frontline Police Perspectives and the Limits of FASD Training

 

BREAK—2:30pm to 2:45pm

 

Discussion Session Two: Prevalence—2:45pm to 3:30pm

Presentation:

Dr. Kaitlyn McLaughlin (Canada), TBD

Discussion Host: Kathryn Kelly

·       What is at stake in prevalence studies?

·       What are some of the practices being used to establish prevalence?

Assessment and Assistance—3:30pm to 4:00pm

·       Betty Lou Benson (Canada) TBD

·       Lisa Bunton, (Canada), Providing Services to Offenders with FASD: Challenges and Successes (pending approval)

Discussion Session Three: Looking to the Future—4:00pm to 4:30pm

Audience and Panelists Discussion Hosted by: Michelle Stewart

·       What is on the horizon in the fields of FASD & the Law?

·       What are the research needs in these fields?

*Note: this is a preliminary schedule and is subject to change. Registration required. Contact faslaw@uw.edu.

FASD: The missing diagnosis

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS ARTICLE: FASD: The missing diagnosis

By: Sue Gaberiel, Cheboygan Daily Tribune, 24 October 2014

Accessed on: 27 October 2014

Commentary by: Robyn Morin

This article is the fourth edition of a four part series created to provide education and strategies for some behaviours that are associated with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

The author starts with a simple four step procedure that a child will experience within a classroom when preparing for an assignment. A child of average functioning will be able to successfully complete all four steps. A child with FASD will complete the first step, become distracted with something in their desk and will be unsuccessful in completing the assignment.

The author emphasizes a common behaviour associated with FASD known as “confabulation.” Confabulation “is filling in with what seems logical, because you can’t remember what actually occurred.” This is much different than lying where one will lie to cover up something they did in order to not be held responsible. At times, individuals with FASD are accused of lying when in fact it is confabulation.

Throughout the article, the author tells a story of a young girl with FASD and provides examples of her daily life in regards to step by step instructions and confabulation. The point is to illustrate strategies such as requests and one step instructions. When teachers, parents or supports use one step directions, the individual can be successful in completing a task. When you continuously use a multitude of one step instructions, an individual will be able to successfully perform these one step instructions from memory thus creating success.

The author ends the article stating that no amount of alcohol is safe while pregnant and FASD is 100% preventable; “If you are female and are going to drink alcohol, do not have unprotected sex, if you have unprotected sex, do not drink alcohol.”

FASD program big success at Dryden school

FASD program big success at Dryden school

By: Grace Protopapas, Kenora Online, 18 March 2014

Accessed on: 24 March 2014

Commentary by: Sarah Cibart

Given the FASD Research Project’s upcoming workshop on strategies for new outcomes, this article appropriately highlights a progressive initiative being taken to adapt the learning environment for children with FASD.

At Open Roads School in Dryden, ON a new adapted classroom setting hosts children with FASD of various ages and abilities. One unique feature of the “FASD room” is that it covers colourful and distracting display boards and keeps toys and games hidden to minimize unnecessary distractions for the students.

“…a big thing is [that] we provide a safe environment to build their self esteem” says teacher Chona Dufrense as she boasts the effectiveness of the adapted learning environment.

So far there are only four students enrolled in this program. The ultimate goal for these students, says Dufrense, is integration into a larger classroom setting. This process, she says, will be very different for each of them. Her focus is playing to each of their diverse strengths.

As awareness of FASD continues to grow in Saskatchewan, the idea of an adapted FASD classroom within our schools becomes more manageable. With high rewards such as building strength and confidence for youth living with FASD, as well as supporting educators who struggle to meet the diverse needs of FASD students in a non-adaptive setting, the pros of an “FASD classroom” seem to outweigh the cons. With this in mind, it may take time and work to ensure youth with FASD feel safe and accepted in a separate adapted learning setting, and that social inclusion remains an important goal of educators and mentors.

Just released: The international charter on prevention of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Just released: The international charter on prevention of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Accessed on: 27 Feb 2014

Commentary by: Krystal Glowatski

While this isn’t a news article – this is ‘FASD in the News’ at it’s best!  Just released yesterday is the International Charter on Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.  If you have any interest at all in FASD, I urge you to read this short article.  It highlights every point and argument I can think of surrounding FASD.

Since I can’t say it better, I’m going to provide you with a few of my favourite lines and leave the rest up to you:

 

“Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder is a serious health and social problem, as well as an educational and legal issue, which affects individuals, families, and societies worldwide.”

“Although maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy is the direct cause of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, many underlying causes exist for drinking during pregnancy.”

“The perception that fetal alcohol spectrum disorder is affected only by a woman’s choices is a major barrier to effective prevention efforts. Men also have a responsibility.”

“Although public knowledge of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder is high in some countries, it is very low worldwide.”

“Informative materials about fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in regionally-specific languages, and that are relevant to local cultures and systems, are needed.”

 

If this doesn’t get your interest, I don’t know what will.  Please – read, comment, share!  This is a very exciting moment in the world of FASD research and practice.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder experts meet in Saskatoon: Discuss ways to prevent Canadian women from drinking while pregnant

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder experts meet in Saskatoon: Discuss ways to prevent Canadian women from drinking while pregnant

By: Bre McAdam (News Talk 980 CJME), 20 Jan 2014

Accessed on: 20 Jan 2014

Commentary by: Krystal Glowatski

This week, a two-day meeting in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan was held where FASD experts discussed prevention of FASD in the province.  The experts addressed what has been done in terms of FASD prevention over the past 10 years and worked on a plan for the next decade.

The Canada FASD Research Network estimates that there are 55,708 people in Saskatchewan who might have FASD.  Minister of Social Services, June Draude, states that each of those individuals cost approximately $1.5 million in terms of health care, education, and corrections.  She states that, “…more importantly it has an impact on society as a whole.  The human cost within the family, within the community and within that child.”

Jocelynn Cook, executive director of the Canada FASD Research Network, explained the need to focus on “risky drinking.”  Draude elaborated that there needs to be support for mothers and pregnant women with alcohol addictions, such as detox and providing doctors with the proper information to provide to their patients.

These suggestions come on the heels of recent reports from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that doctors do not often ask their patients about alcohol use.  The CDC states that it’s time for a change, as the risks associated with alcohol consumption can be many and in some cases, severe.  For more on that story visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/alcohol-screening-counseling/

This article supports my commentary from last week, in that there’s often a heavy focus on prevention.  Don’t get me wrong, prevention, if successful, would be the best way to eventually eliminate FASD.  But there are still people in this province – approximately 55,708 people according the Canada FASD Research Network – who may be effected by this disorder and we need to include solutions to these individuals’ plights as well.

Raising Adrian – My Own Experience with FASD in America

Raising Adrian – My Own Experience with FASD in America

Helen Ramaglia, The Chronicle of Social Change: Children and Youth, Front and Centre (November 6th, 2013) (Accessed November 14th, 2013)

Commentary by Krystal Glowatski

This story is about an adoptive mother to not one, but two children affected by FASD.  Twice a month I take to the web and find a news article about FASD and provide a summary and my thoughts.  I usually tend to seek out the hard-hitting and provocative articles about offenders in the CJS with FASD.  However, this week I couldn’t help but be drawn to this heart-felt story about struggle, hope, and success.

Sometimes in fighting for the rights of FASD offenders, we forget about the basics – the rights of human beings, and of course in the context of this page, the rights of individuals who struggle with FASD on a daily basis.  The mother who wrote this story fought for years in many sectors – social services, education, and health to name a few – just for a diagnosis and effective strategies in creating success for her children with FASD.  After 3 years of struggle, her children are beginning to succeed both at home and at school.

As this mother says, by arming ourselves with information, education, and the right tools, we can assist those with FASD to be the best they can be.  It will always be an uphill battle, but there is hope.  That is what this page is about – providing you, our readers, with information, education, and the right tools to assist you in the course of your work, and perhaps personal lives.  With that, I encourage you to explore our website and arm yourselves – you never know when you’ll be able to help someone be his or her best.