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July Ask the Expert Column Examines Impact of Alcohol on Fetal Brain Development 

July 15, 2014

Our July entry in the Ask the Expert series features an examination of the impact of alcohol on fetal brain development. To help us explore this issue, the FASD Center is happy to have the input of Dr. Rajesh C. Miranda, a Professor with the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience at Texas A&M's Health Science Center (TAMHSC), and a past-President of the FASD Study Group (FASDSG). Dr. Miranda has performed extensive research in this area, and he shares his findings and his thoughts on where the field of FASD research is headed in the future.

Click here to visit this and other recent Ask the Expert columns.

Ask the Expert Column Examines Impact of FASD on Mental Health Treatment 

June 16, 2014

The latest entry in the FASD Center's ongoing Ask the Expert column examines the critical role that the mental health field can play in FASD prevention and success in mental health treatment. As in many areas of health care and social service provision, mental health practitioners do not always recognize the presence or impact of an FASD on an individual, and thus may not make appropriate modifications to treatment.

In this month's Ask the Expert, the FASD Center's FASD Specialist, Dan Dubovsky, MSW, talks about the ways in which individuals with an FASD are vulnerable to mental health issues. He discusses the need to modify treatment to better meet their needs, and the special role that the mental health field can play in preventing incidences of FASD.

Click here to visit this and other recent Ask the Expert columns.

June is Children's Awareness Month 

May 30, 2014

June is annually recognized as National Children's Awareness Month, in order to focus America’s attention on the importance of creating safe environments for children. Specifically, the annual campaign seeks to:

  • Increase awareness of the vulnerability of children to violence;
  • Teach people how to spot early warning signs of child emotional and behavioral problems; and
  • Encourage everyone to take action to eliminate the incidences, causes, and effects of violence to children.

The FASD Center for Excellence supports the effort to raise awareness of child trauma and abuse, as children with an FASD are at an increased risk for experiencing multiple traumas throughout their lifespan.

Parents and providers who want to learn more about child safety and child trauma can visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF). The Gateway also has a page specific to FASD.

The National Library of Medicine, a service of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), also provides links to many child safety resources, publications, and interactive tools through a homepage at Medline Plus.

New FASD Toolkit Available 

May 30, 2014

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released an FASD Toolkit to raise awareness, promote surveillance and screening, and ensure that all affected children receive appropriate and timely interventions for these disorders. Developed in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Toolkit is designed to serve as the framework for the medical home management of a child with an FASD, providing tools and resources for primary care providers to be better equipped to meet the special needs of these children and families.

Available completely online, the Toolkit is divided into seven sections:

  • About FASDs
  • Identification, Diagnosis, and Referral
  • Patient Management
  • Practice Management
  • Sample Forms
  • In-Depth Provider Training
  • Resources

Each section contains multiple elements to assist both providers and families, and provides extensive information on every facet of FASD, from causes to diagnosis, building a coordinated care team, assisting the family, and accessing additional resources.

Click here to visit the Toolkit homepage, and view the AAP's introductory video about FASD by clicking here.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month 

May 22, 2014

Mental Health Month

The FASD Center is proud to help promote National Mental Health Awareness Month, as individuals with an FASD experience mental health issues at a higher rate than the general population.

Each year since 1949, Mental Health America (MHA) has led the effort to sponsor and celebrate May as National Mental Health Awareness Month. Founded in 1909, MHA is the nation's leading community-based network dedicated to helping all Americans achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives. Each year the month has a special theme. For 2014, the theme is "Mind Your Health." The MHA Web site provides a variety of resources for individuals, families, and children, as well as a free toolkit that can be downloaded and used to promote mental health awareness. Click here to visit Mental Health America's Mental Health Awareness Month Web page and learn more.

Federal agencies, including HHS, are also recognizing this important awareness month. MentalHealth.gov, sponsored by HHS, provides mental health resources in various categories and for all age ranges, and has a special page devoted to Mental Health Month. In addition, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), supports research on many mental health topics, and provides free publications and curricula, links to treatment assistance, and news related to mental health clinical trials and funding opportunities.

We encourage all FASD Center constituents to visit these Web sites and access these valuable resources.