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Neuropsychology Resident Seeks Statewide Effort to Raise Awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Date:  August 1st, 2013

Contact/Phone:  Mary Muhlbradt
Phone: (701)857-5116
Fax: (701)857-5683

e-mail:   Mary Muhlbradt

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Justin J. Boseck, Ph.D., doesn't like what he sees when it comes to the number of children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). He's hoping that other people around North Dakota are as concerned as he is.

The Neuropsychology Resident with Trinity Health is inviting healthcare professionals, educators and all others with an interest in FASD to a meeting August 14 to gauge interest in reviving a statewide task force to highlight the impact that FASD has on those affected, their caregivers, and the community.

FASD is an umbrella term that describes a range of effects that can occur in a child whose mother consumed
alcohol during pregnancy. The effects have lifelong implications for the child, including attention issues, possible low IQ, learning disabilities, abnormal facial features, and a variety of behavioral problems.

“The prevalence of FASD is about one in 100 compared to one in 88 for Autistic Disorders,” Dr. Boseck indicated. “Given the harm to children and the social costs, it's essential we do a better job getting the word out to women of reproductive age so kids have a better chance of living healthy, happy, and productive lives.”

As a Neuropsychology Resident, Dr. Boseck plays a role in making an FASD diagnosis through tests and documentation of physical features associated with the disorder. Once the diagnosis is made, treatment options are considered based upon the child's presentation, including therapy and interventions to help the child perform better in school.

“The best cure is prevention,” Dr. Boseck emphasized.  “If you're pregnant don't drink alcohol, and if you can't stop drinking alcohol then don't get pregnant.  There is no known safe amount of alcohol to drink while pregnant.”

Dr. Boseck adds the fact that North Dakota has more bars per capita than any other state – one for every 1,600 persons – may in itself be a red flag. He says the problem of FASD warrants an all-out effort that could involve public service announcements, advertisements, and speaking presentations to key audiences. The informational meeting is set for August 14 at 6:00 p.m. at Trinity Health Center — Riverside, 1900 8th Avenue SE, west of Minot's Holiday Inn. SPACE index.php