Workshop: ASD and FASD: Similarities, Differences, and Clinical and Forensic Implications with Dr. Jerrod Brown
This webinar on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD): Similarities, Differences, and Clinical and Forensic Implications is presented by Dr. Jerrod Brown.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder afflicting approximately one out of 59 children across the United States. This disorder has no physical markers, but is characterized by communication (i.e., verbal and non-verbal) and behavioral (e.g., restricted and/or repetitive actions) symptoms. ASD can be diagnosed at any point, with the symptoms typically emerging during the first three years of life. The presence and severity of these symptoms can have debilitating consequences on an individual’s capacity to function in school, work, community, and home settings.
In contrast, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is the result of prenatal exposure to alcohol. This life course persistent disorder has an estimated prevalence of 5% in the general population. Rates of FASD have been found to be significantly higher among criminal justice-involved populations compared to the general population. FASD is typified by deficits in cognitive (e.g., executive functioning and memory) and adaptive (e.g., verbal and non-verbal communication, social skills, decision making and problem solving) functioning. Complicating screening and assessment, FASD has high levels of diagnostic comorbidity with other disorders like ASD.
In fact, ASD and FASD share a number of symptomatic characteristics. A prominent area of overlap in symptomatology between ASD and FASD is in the area of social development. For instance, individuals with each disorder often struggle to develop and maintain interpersonal relationships as well as use and comprehend forms of non-verbal communication (e.g., body language). Further, ASD and FASD have both been linked to irregularities in self-control, attention span, sensory stimulation, and other broader developmental considerations. Nonetheless, it remains important to distinguish between ASD and FASD due to differences in short- and long-term prognosis and appropriateness of treatment options. This training will examine the similarities and differences between ASD and FASD as well as the clinical and forensic implications for each disorder.