Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is recognized as the number one cause of developmental disability among Canadian children, with lifelong neurological and behavioural consequences for those affected.
Though FASD is preventable, the complexity of issues surrounding alcohol abuse during pregnancy requires comprehensive, cooperative solutions from a broad range of mental health practitioners and community members. From Sept. 12-14, Saskatoon will host FASDlive 2012 at the Saskatoon Inn, to provide a glimpse into some of their work. Early bird registration for the conference ends August 1, and the final date to register is August 31.
The conference will have two main focuses: scientific research; and community programs and strategies. With five keynote speakers and over 35 concurrent sessions exploring FASD topics from non-profit, governmental, research and health care perspectives, it is open to anyone who is affected by or interested in FASD.
The keynotes include:
• Dr. Sterling Clarren – CEO and scientific director of the Canada FASD Research Network
• Dr. Dan Goldowitz – Scientific director of NeuroDevNet, a Canadian Network Centre of Excellence connecting researchers in the field of brain development (kidSKAN's Nazeem Muhajarine leads knowledge translation for this network)
• Dr. Caroline Tait – Associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Saskatchewan.
• Diane Malbin – Director of FASCETS, a non-profit organization out of Portland, Oregon.
• Kim Barthel – Author, consultant, occupational therapist, and owner of Labyrinth Journeys, a company dedicated to providing professional and personal growth workshops.
Concurrent sessions will be focused on FASD prevention, diagnosis, intervention and support. The third day of the conference will feature two symposia to choose from. Diagnosis and Assessment of FASD will look at the methodology to assess and diagnose FASD, and include a brief summary of current practice regarding adult diagnosis in Saskatchewan. The other symposium, Supporting Women Who May Be at Risk of Having a Child with FASD, will examine successful community supports and prevention strategies for working with vulnerable women or women with FASD.
FASD live is sponsored by FASD Support Network of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, Saskatchewan Prevention Institute, and Canada Northwest FASD Partnership.
The Prevention Institute’s FASDlive blog will post up-to-date information about the conference and speakers.
You can find more information or register online.