New DSM Code Should Benefit Clinicians, Researchers

Individuals affected by prenatal alcohol exposure finally have a diagnostic code in DSM 5, “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”.

“We were pleased that DSM-5 introduced neurodevelopmental disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure (ND-PAE) in the category “Specified Other Neurodevelopmental Disorder” (315.8).”

“[…] we believe that by further defining ND-PAE as a neurodevelopmental disorder with its own diagnostic code, psychiatrists, epidemiologists, managed care organizations, and other systems of care will be able to quantify the numbers of affected individuals, develop standardized treatment protocols, and target primary-prevention strategies for this tragic and preventable condition.”


Neurodevelopmental Disorder Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure in DSM-5: Implications for Intervention & Services in Forensic Practice

“Changing lives one light bulb moment at a time” (Rachel Parrott)

ND-PAE conference

With recent media hype about “moderate” alcohol being okay during pregnancy, Dr. Susan Rich and some of her colleagues are speaking at a 2 day conference on Neurodevelopmental Disorder Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure in DSM-5 today and tomorrow.

Tom Donaldson, President of NOFAS, and Kathy Mitchell, Vice President of NOFAS will be speakers at the event. Another of the speakers at the conference will be William Edwards, Deputy Public Defender in Los Angeles, CA – a national advocate for raising awareness about this preventable issue. Recently, his efforts led to the American Bar Association passing a resolution to promote education for court professionals, attorneys, judges, and others on the issue of FASD in order to better identify and create systems of change for individuals stuck in the revolving door of the criminal justice system.  Mr. Edwards is coming to speak at the conference on his work in the area of capital habeas cases, disability services for clients, and interviewing the biological mother about her drinking history.

This event is sponsored through the Office of the Public Defender in the District of Columbia as well as the OPD in Maryland. The conference is co-sponsored by the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

For further interest feel free to take a look at the attached flyer

February 19th and February 20th, 2014 FASD Training conference schedule

In the spirit of prevention

Did you know…

…that 50% of pregnancies in the U.S. are UNPLANNED?

…that teen age and young adult women binge drink more today than young men?

…that alcohol causes “disinhibited” sexual drives and promotes UNPROTECTED SEX????

…that unprotected sex and alcohol use can cause brain damage and psychiatric issues in babies BEFORE you know you’re pregnant????

…that lower IQ’s, birth defects, and other problems happen as early as 2-8 weeks after CONCEPTION?




Each year in the United States alone, 40,000 babies are born with intellectual disabilities, learning problems, attention deficits, autistic-related issues, and behavior issues known as “Neurodevelopmental Disorder associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure.”  Unintentional exposure to a fetus before pregnancy recognition is an unfortunate and inevitable outcome of drinking and unprotected sex.  It’s not just “Fetal Alcohol Syndrome” we need to worry about!


Given the data about unintended pregnancy and prevalence of alcohol use among childbearing age women, we believe warning messages should be clearer: “If you use alcohol, don’t get pregnant.  If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, don’t use alcohol.”