#012 Dr. Ira Chasnoff Talks FASD and the Online World

fasd success show Mar 15, 2020
Meet Dr. Ira J. Chasnoff. In this episode, we speak with Dr. Chasnoff about his work and his book: FASD and the Online World, a hot topic for many caregivers. 
And just to make this more interesting, this interview was with a live audience of caregivers who are just finishing up our Caregiver Kick Start! Program.

This guy is no joke! Dr. Chasnoff opened the first clinic in the United States on prenatal drug and alcohol exposure. He is Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Illinois at College of Medicine, an author of 12 books, a researcher, lecturer, and the President of NTI Upstream, a company he founded with his son, Gabe. In other words – he's awesome. 

Throughout our chat, we will confirm that not only is raising a neurotypical child difficult in today’s world of social media, there are added challenges for our kids with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.  

“Children with FASD are at very high risk for misuse of the internet and they are just as likely to be victims as perpetrators online.” 

Throughout the conversation, it does get a bit technical with brain stuff, but you will learn and walk away with a greater understanding and tips you can implement right away.


Dr. Chasnoff provides:

  • a brief overview of how the brain is affected by prenatal alcohol exposure;
  • the key areas of the brain that are present challenges for people with FASD;
  • why our teens prefer social media over other forms of communication (think verbal cues);
  • how to tell the difference between “typical” behaviour vs not so typical
  • how the internet/social media is designed to engage certain areas of the brain; and
  • and why it becomes addicting.

A key take away mantra: “Whatever is predictable is preventable.”

So, get a notebook and pen because there is a lot to absorb in this episode, including:

  • how Autism and FASD are different;
  • what the Compulsion Loop is and how it works;
  • how the design of the internet/social media releases certain chemicals in our brain;
  • why it’s important to know the difference in how a neurotypical teen uses the Internet/Social Media versus teens with FASD; and
  • when to start to set your child up for success with suggested structure and rules for use

As a bonus, Dr. Chasnoff asks us to think about our own use of not only social media, but quizzes us so we can determine if we have our own phone addiction.

I’ve been at this for a long time now and even I had a few AHA moments – so I guarantee you will walk away learning some fascinating, interesting and useful information.

Show Notes:

NTI Upstream:


The Caregiver Kick Start!:

We've been providing training through our online Caregiver Kick Start! course since 2012. We only open it up once a year and the course runs for about for 6 months. We will be opening registration for our next class late April -- early May. Over 6 months we will take you from the caregiver you are - to the caregiver you want to be!

We are not accepting enrollment right now, BUT if you want to jump on the wait list, we'll let you know when the next class opens.  Don’t wait too long – it fills up fast!



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