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Ask the Expert

Ask the Expert

Welcome to Ask the Expert. This column features regular interviews with FASD providers and researchers, individuals affected by FASD, birth mothers, parents, friends/supporters, and other special guests who can provide a meaningful perspective on FASD. The Ask the Expert series contains unique insights that we hope will be useful to professionals, individuals, families, and others interested in FASD prevention and treatment.

About Screening and Modifications to Treatment (SMT): An Interview with Dan Dubovsky - February 2015

About Screening and Modifications to Treatment (SMT): An Interview with Dan Dubovsky - February 2015

This month’s Ask the Expert column features FASD Specialist Dan Dubovsky, M.S.W. The interview takes a look at the new Screening and Modifications to Treatment (SMT) approach, which aims to identify adults with a possible FASD and more effectively serve them. A key part of SMT is the Life History Screen, which helps to identify signs of an FASD or other cognitive issues in clients. Learn more about this approach and how it can help your agency or program improve outcomes for individuals and families.

The Life Perspective on FASD: An Interview with Andrew and Craig Peterson - January 2015

The Life Perspective on FASD: An Interview with Andrew and Craig Peterson - January 2015

"Ask the Expert" this month, in honor of January as National Birth Defects Prevention Month, Ask the Expert features an interview with Andrew Peterson, a young man with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) who has become an accomplished competitive runner, a Special Olympian, and a speaker and coach. His father, Craig Peterson, adopted Andrew and five other children with special needs, and joins his son in telling their unique and inspiring story.

The Native American Perspective on FASD: An Interview with Judge Anita Fineday - November 2014

The Native American Perspective on FASD: An Interview with Judge Anita Fineday - November 2014

"Ask the Expert" this month features an interview with the Honorable Anita Fineday. A member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota, Judge Fineday is currently the Managing Director of the Indian Child Welfare Program at Casey Family Programs in Seattle. She has a long history of serving the Native community, and between 2007 and 2012 helped to oversee a subcontract with the SAMHSA FASD Center for Excellence which sought to better connect Native families dealing with treatment services. This month, she discusses her career and the needs of Native communities in addressing FASD.

The Birth Mother Perspective on FASD: An Interview with Kathy Mitchell of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome - October 2014

The Birth Mother Perspective on FASD: An Interview with Kathy Mitchell of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome - October 2014

"Ask the Expert" this month features an interview with Kathleen Tavenner Mitchell, Vice President and International Spokesperson for the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS), and the birth mother of a daughter with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Ms. Mitchell provides her perspective on being the parent of a child with an FASD, and on her work to increase awareness of FASD and of the needs of women with substance use issues.

The Life Perspective on FASD: An Interview with Emily Travis - August 2014

The Life Perspective on FASD: An Interview with Emily Travis - August 2014

This month the FASD Center for Excellence is proud to launch a new feature of the "Ask the Expert" column. While the column generally features interviews with researchers and authors, this month we feature the insights of a lifelong expert on FASD. Emily Travis, a past member of the FASD Center for Excellence Expert Panel, is an amazing young woman who just happens to have an FASD. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about finding success with her disorder, and how her disability does not mean 'unable.'

Alcohol and Fetal Brain Development - July 2014

Alcohol and Fetal Brain Development - July 2014

Our July "Ask the Expert" column is authored by 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). He is a past-President of the FASD Study Group (FASDSG) and has performed extensive research into the effects of alcohol on fetal brain development, and he discusses this work with us in this month's article.

The Impact of FASD on the Field of Mental Health - June 2014

The Impact of FASD on the Field of Mental Health - June 2014

FASD Specialist Dan Dubovsky 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.

An interview with Dr. Sterling Clarren, co-chair of Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) #58 - May 2014

An interview with Dr. Sterling Clarren, co-chair of Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) #58 - May 2014

To mark the publication of Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) #58, Addressing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), we interview the TIP’s co-chair, Sterling K. Clarren, M.D. Dr. Clarren, Clinical Executive Officer and Scientific Director of the Canada Northwest FASD Research Network (CanFASD) and a long-time researcher and author on FASD, discusses his career, the growth of the FASD field, and his hopes for how the field will utilize this TIP.

Screening for FASD among women in substance abuse treatment programs - April 2014

Screening for FASD among women in substance abuse treatment programs - April 2014

FASD experts Therese Grant, Ph.D., and Dan Dubovsky, M.S.W., discuss the importance of screening women in substance abuse treatment programs for FASD, and their work on developing an effective screening tool. Dr. Grant is an associate professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and Mr. Dubovsky is the FASD Specialist with the SAMHSA FASD Center for Excellence.

FASD: The Current Relevance of an Age-Old Problem - March 2014

FASD: The Current Relevance of an Age-Old Problem - March 2014

Callie Gass, Project Director with the FASD Center for Excellence, discusses some of the history of alcohol use in pregnancy, the current relevance of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) as a public health concern, and the steps that the FASD Center and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration are taking to address public awareness, prevention, and treatment.

Article and Poll Spotlight Public Misperceptions of Drinking During Pregnancy - February 2014

Article and Poll Spotlight Public Misperceptions of Drinking During Pregnancy - February 2014

Dan Dubovsky, FASD Specialist with the SAMHSA FASD Center for Excellence, discusses a recent article by a journalist and mother who candidly admits drinking during her three pregnancies, but now wonders about the damage alcohol can do. Results of an online poll accompanying the article spotlight common public misperceptions about drinking during pregnancy.

Survey finds ongoing concerns with alcohol use during pregnancy - January 2014

Survey finds ongoing concerns with alcohol use during pregnancy - January 2014

This month, Drs. Margaret Mattson and Rachel Lipari provide us with their insights on findings related to alcohol use among pregnant women and women of childbearing age, from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) for 2011-12. This survey is conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), where Drs. Mattson and Lipari are researchers in the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality.

Questions & Answers about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) - October 2013

Questions & Answers about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) - October 2013

In this edition, we are pleased to have Dr. Ron Manderscheid, Executive Director of the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors (NACBHDD), to provide his insights on the implications of the ACA, both in general and specific to FASD prevention and intervention.

International FASD Awareness Day and the 40th Anniversary of FAS - September 2013

International FASD Awareness Day and the 40th Anniversary of FAS - September 2013

In our first edition, we had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Kenneth Lyons Jones and Dr. Ann Streissguth, two of the seminal early researchers in the field. Most of the breakthroughs in FAS and FASD over the last 40 years may not have been possible without their groundbreaking work, and we appreciate them taking the time to provide their perspectives.

DISCLAIMER: The views, opinions, and content of this column are those of the authors/experts and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS.