Defining Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)

Tue 7 Mar 2017 12:45pm1:45pm


The University of Queensland Long Pocket Precinct
80 Meiers Road
Room 201

Speaker: Dr Janet Hammill

Despite more than four decades of evidence and awareness strategies from North American research, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders remain an ongoing, yet preventable, disability among Australian born children.  Its effects are significant, involving brain-based disabilities such as behavioural problems, poor executive functioning, inability to learn from experiences; physical disabilities including cardiac, renal, skeletal, dental, visual and aural defects; and lifelong negative consequences of these disabilities such as repeated involvement with the criminal justice system, and major mental health problems.  Moreover, the effects of FASD are compounded transgenerationally through the absence of early diagnosis and interventions that otherwise could prevent secondary disabilities in consecutive generations.

These lifelong disabilities remain invisible to early intervention, likely due to Australia’s wide social acceptance of alcohol and insufficient awareness or concern about its effects during pregnancy, together with a lack of legislated stewardship by alcohol manufacturers.  Dr Janet Hammill, a medical ethnographer, joins the Life Course Centre to share her research into transgenerational FASD in vulnerable populations.

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