New Site Devoted to Youth Services to Run Five-Part Series on FASD
October 31, 2013
The Chronicle of Social Change - Children and Youth, Front and Center, a newly-launched online periodical covering juvenile justice, child welfare, and other youth services industries, is currently running a five-part series called “Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in America – A Silent Crisis.” The author of the series, Helen Ramaglia, is a Congressional Award Winner for her work and advocacy on behalf of foster children and the author of From Foster to Fabulous.
Part one of the series, "What is a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder", focuses on explaining Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) as an umbrella term which describes the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy.
Part two spotlights the societal costs of FASD in an article titled "The Financial Impact of FASD". Although there is limited data available on the lifespan costs related to each of the disorders within the spectrum, Ms. Ramaglia points out that, in general, the cost of raising an individual affected by prenatal alcohol exposure is extremely high compared to raising a child without an FASD, as she notes that “Families of children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) must deal with a multitude of issues touching every facet of their lives. In addition to addressing the immediate physical and educational needs of their child, families must also identify long-range strategies to ensure these needs are met throughout the lifetime of the child.” As the article indicates, these costs clearly justify major FASD prevention, awareness, and education efforts.
Part three in the series is titled “The Criminal Justice System.” In this piece, Ms. Ramaglia advocates for rehabilitation over punishment. She asserts that often an individual with an FASD does not intentionally set out to break the law, and that if we continue to ignore the existence of FASD and fail to equip this population with the correct tools to recognize risky situations, billions of taxpayer dollars will continue to be spent to no avail in our criminal justice system.
Parts four and five of the series are forthcoming. We encourage our readers to visit the Chronicle Web site and read these important and informative articles.
FASD Certificate for Professionals Who Work with Children with an FASD
October 15, 2013
The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) certificate, offered entirely online, is designed for special education teachers, prospective teachers, and other related professionals who work with children and youth with FASD. To obtain the certification, you must complete three online classes. The certificate program is designed to be completed in three semesters and must be taken in the following order.
Foundations of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders is only offered during the summer semester. Social Communication Skills for FASD is only offered during the fall semester. Finally, Professional Methods for Working with FASD is offered spring semester only. For more information, visit the University of Minnesota Digital Campus.
Documentary Explores FASD among Native Americans in the Twin Cities
October 15, 2013
Healthy Babies, Healthy Futures is a documentary produced by the Division of Indian Work (Minneapolis), the City of Minneapolis Twin Cities Healthy Start, and the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS). This documentary features interviews with a variety of caregivers and women, all of whom discuss attitudes on drinking while pregnant among Native Americans in the Twin Cities. The film also provides useful background information on the dangers of consuming alcohol during pregnancy and on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). The film is free and available for viewing here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14O8Wah3CeM&feature=youtu.be
Have Questions about the Affordable Care Act? Check Out This Month’s “Ask the Expert” Column
September 30, 2013
As the Nation moves closer to full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the latest installment of “Ask the Expert” explores several questions people may have about the law.
Our special guest author this month is Dr. Ron Manderscheid, Executive Director of the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors. Dr. Manderscheid provides insights on several implications of the ACA, both in general and as it relates to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) prevention and intervention.
Included in the column is guidance for consumers as well as for providers who work with women, children, and families, along with potential guidance for state agency representatives who coordinate FASD prevention and treatment services.
Read the column here.
Health Insurance Marketplace Opens on October 1, 2013 Accommodating the Affordable Care Act
September 30, 2013
The Health Insurance Marketplace will launch on October 1, 2013, complying with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA is a United States federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. Together with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, this statute represents the most significant regulatory overhaul of the country's healthcare system since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.
The ACA goals are to increase the quality and affordability of health insurance, lower the uninsured rate by expanding public and private insurance coverage, and reduce the costs of health care for individuals and the government. This Act provides a number of mechanisms—including mandates, subsidies, and insurance exchanges—which expand coverage and affordability. The law also requires insurance companies to cover all applicants within new minimum standards and offer the same rates regardless of pre-existing conditions or gender.
By debuting the Health Insurance Marketplace, a major element of the ACA has been set in motion. The Health Insurance Marketplace allows you to find quality health coverage. The Marketplace can assist you if you do not have coverage now, or if you have it but want to consider other options. In addition, you can learn if you can lower your insurance costs based on your income by comparing coverage options side by side. Coverage for consumers can begin as early as January 1, 2014. For additional information on the Health Insurance Marketplace, refer to www.healthcare.gov.
SAMHSA Findings Reveal Significant Alcohol Use Among Pregnant Women in First Trimester
September 13, 2013
A new Data Spotlight fact sheet from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that nearly 18 percent of pregnant women surveyed had consumed alcohol during the first trimester of their pregnancy. The fact sheet, based on combined 2011 and 2012 data from SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), shows that reporting of first trimester consumption was 17.9 percent, compared to significantly lower reporting during the second (4.2 percent) and third (3.7) trimesters. The fact sheet also reveals that, among women who were not pregnant but in the primary childbearing age range (ages 15 to 44), 55.5 percent had consumed alcohol in the past month, and nearly one in four (24.7 percent) had engaged in binge drinking.
The fact sheet, released on September 9th in conjunction with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day, suggests that women who know they are pregnant are receiving the critically important message that alcohol use during pregnancy can harm the baby. However, the findings also highlight the need to continue FASD prevention and awareness efforts, so that women are more aware of the risk of alcohol consumption during the planning and early stages of pregnancy.
The new fact sheet can be downloaded for free at http://www.samhsa.gov/data/spotlight/spot123-pregnancy-alcohol-2013.pdf.