Panel Discussion – Untangling FASD, Trauma, and Emotional/Behavioural Dysregulation


This CETC webinar is now fully booked.

The webinar will be recorded and you can subscribe to the CETC newsletter to receive the link or follow our Vimeo channel where it will be posted - https://vimeo.com/user106396113

In this webinar CETC brings together three professionals with different perspectives in a conversation about the brain and behaviour. We will be exploring questions including:
What’s the difference between the effects of FASD and trauma, and can we really tell?
How can neuroscience help us understand the brain-behaviour connection?
Neuroplasticity – can the brain repair itself?
What approaches to behaviour support are most effective?
How can we support children with FASD to recover from trauma?
Is FASD a helpful or a limiting diagnosis? What about hope for the future? 
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a complex condition that can affect an individual’s learning and problem solving, communication, motor skills, and social abilities. However, the most significant impact arises when alcohol disrupts early brain development in areas responsible for controlling emotions and behaviour. This impact is even more pronounced when FASD and trauma occur together. Trauma-informed care can support children with strong emotional reactions by helping them build safe and trusting relationships and learn self-regulation skills. However, for a child with FASD, the underlying challenges make it harder for them to regulate themselves, and they may not respond to these strategies or show progress. This can leave caregivers feeling disempowered and frustrated.
Dr Julia Shekleton (DPsych) is a Clinical Neuropsychologist who specialises in assessment and intervention for children with a wide range of neurodevelopmental disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and FASD, as well as other complex medical and mental health issues. Julia is a member of the Australian College of Clinical Neuropsychologists, an approved clinical supervisor, and has several peer-reviewed publications. Julia works in private practice and at Monash Children’s Hospital in the Victorian Fetal Alcohol Service (VicFAS). Julia values the importance of supporting parents, carers, other medical professionals, and educators to understand the complex interaction between brain functioning and behaviour, especially in children with neurodevelopmental disorders who have also experienced early life trauma.
Prue Walker, is a social worker and FASD specialist with the CETC, focusing on integration of FASD and trauma-informed practice. Prue developed an interest in FASD through her work in child protection and out-of-home care in Victoria and the Northern Territory. In 2009 she visited the US and Canada on a Churchill Fellowship investigating models of care for children with FASD in OOHC. Prue has delivered many workshops and presentations on FASD and provides consulting services to care teams. She is a member of the FASD Guideline Development Group, the Victorian FASD Special Interest Group, and also works at the Victorian Fetal Alcohol Service (VicFAS) diagnostic clinic at Monash Children’s Hospital.
Noel Macnamara is Deputy Director of the CETC and Executive Manager of Research and Policy at the Australian Childhood Foundation. With over 38 years of experience as a social worker, operational manager, organisational consultant, and child rights advocate, Noel is passionate about understanding the neuroscience of how child abuse impacts developing brains and using it as foundation for healing from trauma and adverse childhood experiences.

Webinar time zone: AEST
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Target Audience

Professionals and carers who support children and young people with FASD who have experienced trauma

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the impacts of FASD on the brain
  • Distinguish symptoms that may be the result of FASD and/or trauma
  • Understand the connection between brain function and behaviour from a neuroscientific perspective
  • Consider neuroplasticity in the context of FASD
  • Develop a trauma-informed approach to providing behavioural support to children with FASD who have experienced trauma
  • Acknowledge the benefits and drawbacks of FASD diagnosis for supporting children to heal from trauma

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