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