Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law (ANZAPPL) (Queensland branch) and Queensland chapter, APS College of Forensic Psychologists in association with Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disabilities Services present a symposium on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Prevalence, features and assessment.
When: Friday October 13th, 12.00PM – 6.00PM
Where: Rydges South Bank, Brisbane, Queensland. Map.
In 1973, the term Fetal Alcohol Syndrome was first used to describe the characteristic facial anomalies and poor prenatal and/or postnatal growth and subsequent developmental and learning problems exhibited by children of mothers who had used alcohol during their pregnancy.
After it was recognised that alcohol exposure in utero may result in a constellation of neuro-developmental problems in the absence of facial and other physical features, the term Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) was introduced in 2003. Subsequently, a number of different diagnostic algorithms have been postulated to facilitate the diagnosis.
There is a disproportionate prevalence of FASD within youth justice systems. Youths with FASD in Canada have been found to be 19 times more likely to be incarcerated than youths without FASD. In 2015, the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Research Network of Canada published diagnostic guidelines. In 2016, the Australian Guide to the Diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder was promulgated.
Emphasising that alcohol is teratogenic and that no level of maternal consumption is ‘safe’ for the developing foetus, the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia currently advises that the safest option for women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy is to avoid alcohol.
The diagnosis of FASD is crucial to improving outcomes for those affected and to inform pre-pregnancy counselling. Across various jurisdictions in the world, there is considerable impetus towards identifying individuals with FASD.
Symposium Committee: Russ Scott Tamara Smith Vinesh Gupta Scott Harden
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