Advocating For Your Child with Prenatal Substance Exposure

Do you suspect or know that your child was prenatally exposed to alcohol or drugs? Join us to learn the best ways to advocate for your child with prenatal substance exposure, including how to get diagnosed. Our guest is Jenn Wisdahl, the Chief Operating Officer of FASD United and proud parent to 3 young adults with FASD. Jenn leads the FASD United federal legislative and policy agenda.

In this episode, we cover:

  • Why is it important to get a diagnosis of one of the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) or prenatal drug exposure for your child?
    • In the US, FASD is not a diagnosis but rather an umbrella term that encompasses a range of life-long diagnosable medical and mental health conditions that can occur when there is prenatal alcohol exposure, even prior to recognition of pregnancy. 
      • Neurobehavioral Disorder Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (ND-PAE)
      • Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND)
      • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
      • Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (PFAS)
      • Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD)
  • Increase in alcohol use during the pandemic.
  • Why is it so hard for parents to get a diagnosis of FASD for their child?
  • What should parents do to get a diagnosis?
  • What is the average age of diagnosis of FAS or FASD?
  • How does getting a diagnosis or prenatal drug exposure differ from getting a FASD diagnosis?
  • Another opportunity for parents to advocate for their child is in the school system. What are some of the typical issues a child with prenatal substance exposure to alcohol and drugs may face in school?
  • What are some of the ways a parent can advocate for their child in the education system?
  • Another way parents can advocate for their child is through the Registry of Unmet Needs and Innovation waivers.
  • FASD Respect Act. (Go to FASD United’s website and click on the policy center to get started.)

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Music Credit: Michael Ashworth

Podcast Producer: Megown SoundWorks

Image Credit: Ron Lach