FASD and the Courts: Panel Discussion September 9
International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day
- By Michaella Maley Collins
What do you need to know about FASD and how might judges, attorneys and the criminal justice system make a differenence?
A panel discussion is planned for Monday, September 9th, to mark International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day. The panel will explore how the Vermont court system might best meet the needs of individuals with FASD. The discussion will take place at 12:00 -1:30 at the Costello Courthouse, Champlain Room, 32 Cherry Street, Burlington. Panel members include members of the Vermont judicial system including judges and attorneys, and special guest, Judge Michael Jeffery, who has worked for 30 years in rural Alaska. Bob Wolford of the Howard Center will facilitate.
The panel is sponsored by the Howard Center and the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion at the University of Vermont. For more information and to RSVP contact Bob Wolford: firstname.lastname@example.org
National Institutes on Health Statement on International FASD Awareness Day:
International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day, recognized every year on the ninth day of the ninth month, is an important reminder that prenatal alcohol exposure is the leading preventable cause of birth defects and developmental disorders in the United States. Almost 40 years have passed since we recognized that drinking during pregnancy can result in a wide range of disabilities for children, of which fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is the most severe. Yet up to 30 percent of women report drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
The disabilities associated with FASD can persist throughout life and place heavy emotional and financial burdens on individuals, their families, and society. FASD often brings to mind the distinct pattern of facial features associated with FAS, such as wide-set and narrow eyes, a smooth ridge on the upper lip, and a thin upper lip border. We now understand, however, that the neurobehavioral effects associated with FASD, such as intellectual disabilities, speech and language delays, and poor social skills, can exist without the classic defining facial characteristics. Due to poor judgment and decision making skills individuals with FASD are at risk for getting in trouble with the law, involvement in juvenile justice system and ultimately incarceration.
Event sponsored by the Howard Center and the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion at the University of Vermont.