Missing the Boat on Diagnosis

In this new study, 86.5 percent of children and adolescents with FASDs had been misdiagnosed

Alcohol, Pregnancy, and Racial and Social Class Bias

Our perceptions of risk, especially as identified through racial and socioeconomic factors, are false. This is why current prevention campaigns don’t work - because the information applies to “them,” not “us.”

FASDs: The Art of Social Change

As policies are implemented, states, communities, and systems need to adhere to the scientific principles behind the policies and avoid reactive and punitive approaches that do not serve the best interests of children and families. Good science makes for good policies.

FASD is not a Diagnosis

Too often we hear of a child who has been "diagnosed as FASD." Since there are no diagnostic criteria for FASD, the child is being labeled without due consideration of his clinical condition.

HIV and Hepatitis C Risk in Pregnancy and Newborns

Infection with HIV or Hepatitis C is especially prevalent in pregnant women with a history of drug and alcohol use. Although newborn infection rates are becoming less common, this remains an issue of vital importance for prospective adoptive parents.

Sensory Integration: Shaping Perceptions of the World

Children with sensory integration problems often feel uncomfortable in their own skin, agitated or out of sorts.

Heroin Use in Pregnancy

When heroin is used during pregnancy, it can result in the physical dependence of both the mother and the fetus.

E-cigarette Use in Pregnancy

The effects of e-cigarettes on pregnancy and on fetal health have yet to be determined, and should not be considered a “safe” alternative to cigarettes until more is known about them.

An End to Alphabet Soup: FASD and Changes in the DSM5

Inclusion of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and its associated conditions in the DSM has long been a contentious issue. What has resulted is an alphabet soup of terms. In the new DSM 5, there is a code under which this condition can be diagnosed, helping affected individuals access treatment and providers get paid for services.

Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse During Pregnancy

Every decade or so, there is a “new” epidemic declared. This time, the media are publishing numerous articles about newborns whose mothers have used prescription medications, specifically narcotics, during pregnancy.

Marijuana Use in Pregnancy: Implications for State Laws

Use of marijuana during pregnancy places the pregnancy and the child at risk. New and emerging state medical marijuana laws must recognize and communicate that risk.

The Truth about Marijuana and Pregnancy

Few if any states that have legislated the availability of medical marijuana have included guidelines for prescribing marijuana to pregnant women.

Moving from Blame to Diagnosis

A recurring question that continues to arrive in my email in-box has been whether families should seek a diagnosis for their child if they think she has fetal alcohol syndrome. There is an underlying fear of labeling vs. diagnosing the child.

To sleep...a parent's dream

A child with sleep problems may be suffering from one of two different types of sensory processing dysfunction, or a combination of both. Sensory avoidant children are overly sensitive to sounds, sights, smell, touch or movement; sensory seeking children need strong sensory input. In either case, the child will have difficulty relaxing into sleep.

Sleep Problems in the Alcohol- or Drug-exposed Child

In the first year, the most important lesson you can teach your child is that you always will be there for her. This is a key time for your child's developing a sense of trust in a trusting world.

A Rose by Any Other Diagnostic Name...

The current guidelines for diagnosis of children who suffer from prenatal exposure to alcohol often impede access to intervention services and treatment.

Executive Functioning and the Troubled Brain

Many young people who find themselves in trouble have had psychological exams, and almost all have scored well within the normal range on IQ tests. But it is when these young people are asked to connect the dots, to put everything together, to use the information embedded in the deep recesses of their brains, that everything seems to fall apart.

Is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders a Mitigating Factor in Criminal Litigation and Sentencing?

Children, youth, and young adults with FASD are more likely than not to end up before the court on criminal or civil charges, but the legal system has not come close to resolving how their cases should be treated.

Decision-making and Cybertraps

There are two kinds of consequences: immediate and distant. Distant consequences are the most common strategy parents use to try to control their children’s actions: “If you post inappropriate pictures on the Internet, you will have trouble getting into college.” But distant consequences have little to no impact on controlling behavior.

When Love and Church Aren't Enough

One of the most common refrains I hear from adoptive parents is, "We thought with enough church and enough love, everything would be fine." The look on their faces is one of shock and bewilderment.

Catch 'em being good: Redux

Children’s self-control is achieved over the long term by empowering them through respect, listening, collaboration and problem-solving approaches.

Catch 'em being good!

There are four basic forms of discipline; however, the only one that works is positive reinforcement.

FAS: Is it a government plot?

"How much alcohol can a woman safely drink during pregnancy?" The answer is we don't know. But if it's your daughter, your granddaughter, or friend, or patient, the most caring answer is, "No amount is safe."