Oct.          Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Misunderstood and Misdiagnosed 


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Misunderstood and Misdiagnosed

Thursday, October 24, 2019
12:30pm – 2:00pm Eastern time
1.5 CE Credits

Presented by:
Sarah N. Mattson Weller
Professor, Department of Psychology
San Diego State University

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) affect as many as 5% of the population, making it one of the most common developmental disorders. However, many affected individuals remain unidentified. In one study of youth in foster or adoptive care, only 13.5% of youth diagnosed with an FASD were previously identified; 6.4% were previously misdiagnosed, and 80.1% had not been previously identified. Reasons for low rates of accurate diagnosis include multiple diagnostic schema and changes to diagnoses, traditional reliance on physical features, professional reluctance, and social stigma. This webinar will define and describe fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, summarize neuropsychological features of the disorder, discuss progress towards developing a neurobehavioral profile that is both sensitive and specific, and present a newly developed tool for identifying youth affected by prenatal alcohol exposure.

 After the webinar, participants will be able to:
1. Define common diagnostic features of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
2. Describe the neurobehavioral profile of youth with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
3. Discuss the overlap between FASD and ADHD.
4. Identify youth affected by prenatal alcohol exposure using commonly available tools.

Target Audience: Professionals in fields that see children and adolescents, primarily including psychologists, neuropsychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, general practitioners, family medicine physicians, nurses, and pediatricians.

Instructional Level: Introductory to Intermediate

Dr. Mattson is a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise in neuropsychology and behavioral teratology. She received her Ph.D. from the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology and is a professor in the psychology department at San Diego State University. She is also the Director of Clinical Research for the SDSU Center for Behavioral Teratology, a campus-wide center focused on the brain and behavioral effects of heavy prenatal alcohol exposure and other developmental disorders and Co-Director of the SDSU Center for Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience (CCN), a cross-disciplinary program bridging the department of Psychology with the School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. Her research on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders has been continuously funded by the National institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. She has served on the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and was awarded the 2018 Henry Rosett Award for Outstanding Contributions to the FASD field from the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Study Group of the Research Society on Alcoholism.

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