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Optimizing Futures for Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (formerly called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) can occur in individuals whose mothers drank alcohol during pregnancy. FASD can affect physical, cognitive, and emotional development, and the effects may be lifelong. This condition tends to occur more frequently in children whose biological mothers live in low resource environments or lack adequate prenatal care.

For parents and caregivers, FASD can be a discouraging diagnosis, one that inspires fear and overwhelm. However, with adequate care, support, and structure, children with this condition can have improved outcomes. Dr. Judith Eckerle will share about diagnosis, intervention, and steps to take to give kids with FASD the best chance of living healthy, full lives.

This is the ninth module in the CAFO Knowledge + Practice webinar series, which translates research into actionable information that OVC care practitioners can implement immediately to elevate the quality of the care they provide.



Judith Eckerle is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Global Pediatrics  at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Eckerle sees domestic and internationally adopted children in the Adoption Medicine Program and Clinic as well as the Fetal Substances Exposures Clinic. She completed medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin, residency at Weill Cornell Medical Center (New York, NY) and a 1-year post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Neurobehavioral Development. Dr. Eckerle’s research interests include investigating markers that may be predictive of future cognitive outcomes in adopted children and is part of the first study on choline intervention in children with prenatal alcohol exposure.  Her FASD training was done through MOFAS training seminars, CDC FASD Train the Trainers Program, UW Madison and work with Dr. Kenneth Lyons.  She is active in adoption and FASD education worldwide, teaches residents in the Adoption Medicine Program and mentors medical students and residents.

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