Category Archives: FASD Study



Volunteers needed for intervention study!

We are doing a research study on a self-regulation intervention for adolescents with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

We are looking for participants age 11 to 17 who have a diagnosis of FASD.

The intervention will take place over ~12 weeks and will include weekly 1-hour one-to-one intervention sessions focusing on improving self-regulation. The intervention focuses on identifying and talking about different levels of alertness as well as the use of different strategies to improve self-regulation across a variety of environments (home, school, etc.).

There will also be three testing sessions (~2.5 hours each) so we can understand the effect of the intervention. Caregivers will fill out questionnaires about their child’s history and behavior at each testing session.

If you are interested in participating or would like more information, please e-mail or call our FASD Research Lab 780-735-7999 ext. 15631.

How thinking about behavior differently can lead to happier FASD families


A new study from the University of Rochester sheds light on how parents and caregivers of children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) can best help their kids, and at the same time, maintain peace at home and at school.

“Children with FASD often have significant behavior problems due to neurological damage,” says Christie Petrenko, a research psychologist at the University’s Mt. Hope Family Center.

Petrenko and her colleagues found that parents of children with FASD who attribute their child’s misbehavior to their underlying disabilities–rather than to willful disobedience–tend to use pre-emptive strategies designed to help prevent undesirable behaviors. These strategies are likely to be more effective than incentive-based strategies, such as the use of consequences for misbehavior, given the brain damage associated with FASD.

The study included 31 parents and caregivers of children with FASD ages four through eight. Petrenko and her team analyzed data from standardized questionnaires and qualitative interviews that focused on parenting practices.

Petrenko says that the study, which is published in Research in Developmental Disabilities, shows that educating families and caregivers about the disorder is critical.

People with FASD often have problems with executive functioning, which includes skills such as impulse control and task planning, information processing, emotion regulation, and social and adaptive skills. As a result, they are at high risk for school disruptions and trouble with the law.

Parents who use pre-emptive strategies “change the environment in a way that fits their child’s needs better,” says Petrenko. “They give one-step instructions rather than three-steps because their child has working memory issues. They may buy clothes with soft seams if their child has sensory issues, or post stop signs to cue the child to not open the door. All of these preventive strategies help reduce the demands of the environment on the child.”

The study also shows that parenting practices correlate with levels of caregiver confidence and frustration. Families of children with FASD are frequently judged and blamed for their children’s misbehavior. Parents and caregivers who are successful in preventing unwanted behaviors have higher confidence in their parenting and lower levels of frustration with their children than parents who counter unwanted behaviors with consequences after the fact.

Petrenko says that evidence-based interventions for families raising children with FASD have been developed and show promise for improving outcomes for children and families. She and her team at Mt. Hope Family Center are continuing to further test these interventions and identify what strategies and approaches are most effective in getting evidence-based information to families.


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Dr Peter Hepper: there is no safe limit – 49th FASD Video Series

When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol even low doses of alcohol that’s 2-3 or 4 glasses per week the fetus changes its behaviour by decreasing its movement. The study also shows the fetus delays in development as well as in learning responses. All these aspects are controlled by the fetus’s brain and when a pregnant mother drinks it affects the child’s brain.  There is no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy.


FASD Social Skills Intervention Study

Dr. Jacqueline Pei and Dr. Patricia Boechler are conducting a research study on FASD social skills.  The purpose of this study is to determine whether adolescents with FASD can improve their social skills through the use of a virtual computer game or table top role play game.

If you are interested in learning more about this intervention study, please contact FASD program directors at Catholic Social Services. You can also call us at (780) 248-1167.

Please refer to the below recruitment letter for more details.



Please click image to download pdf



What is New in FASD Research – 32nd Video Series

The presenters discuss emerging research in FASD and how this research can impact practice.  For more information visit


Disclaimer:  The views and opinions in this video are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Edmonton and Area Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Network.

Research on Adolescents and Adults: If Not Now, When?

Research on Adolescents and Adults: If Not Now, When?

The 7th National Biennial Conference on Adolescents and Adults with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

April 6-9, 2016

The Hyatt Regency, Vancouver, BC, Canada


As adolescents and adults with FASD continue to age, the “need to know” across a broad spectrum of areas is becoming critically important for identifying clinically relevant research questions and directions. This interactive 2016 conference will provide an opportunity to be at the forefront of addressing these issues. We will welcome a diverse group of professionals, researchers, students, families and individuals with FASD.


View the brochure:

Learn more about registration:

Early-bird ends February 29, 2016.


Study on Adolescents with FASD and their Parents/Caregivers

Attention Parents and Adolescents:

Researchers at innovation, Research & Training (iRT) are looking for adolescents that have been diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or other disorders on the fetal alcohol spectrum (FASD) and their parents/caregivers to participate in a research study.

The researchers are evaluating The Aware Program, a new, online education program for adolescents that aims to provide youth with FASD with new ways to regulate their behaviors and feelings, make healthy choices, and prevent the use of alcohol or other drugs.

FASD Study


If interested in learning more about participating in the study, please send an email to Cory Campbell or Maggie Alter, or call 919-493-7700 and ask for The AWARE Program.


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