My guest this week is Eileen Devine, a neurobehavioral therapist and coach who specializes in supporting parents of children with brain-based differences. And in this episode, we’ll be talking specifically about the brain differences and challenges resulting from prenatal exposure to drugs or alcohol, a topic new to this podcast, but which, as you’ll hear in our conversation, is actually the leading cause of developmental disorders in the Western world. In addition to having over a dozen years of clinical experience, Eileen is also the adoptive mother of a child with fetal alcohol syndrome, and as such, brings a passionate blend of personal and professional experience to our conversation. Eileen’s goal is to support parents in feeling more competent and confident in connecting with their child by parenting from a brain-based perspective, and she believes that when we understand the way a child’s brain works, we then understand the meaning behind challenging behaviors, leading to less frustration and increased hope in this unique parenting journey.
In this episode, we discuss the neurobehavioral approach to supporting and parenting children with prenatal substance exposure, the added complications of stigma, misdiagnosis, and grief that often come into play, including the particular challenges for adoptive and foster parents, and so much more. I learned so much from this important conversation and I hope you do too.
About Eileen: Eileen Devine, LCSW is a neurobehavioral therapist and support coach who works nationally and internationally with parents of children with brain-based differences through her private clinical practice. She has over a dozen years of clinical experience, with a special emphasis on working with families impacted by neurobehavioral conditions that have challenging and confusing behavioral symptoms. She is an instructor for the Post-Master’s Certificate in Adoption and Foster Family Therapy through Portland State University’s Child Welfare Partnership and also has the great fortune of facilitating dozens of other trainings and workshops for parents and providers each year on a variety of topics that are relevant to the experience of being a parent of a child with a neurobehavioral condition. In addition to this professional experience, Eileen has the lived experience of parenting a child with significant neurobehavioral challenges. Her goal is to support parents and caregivers of children with these frequently misunderstood brain-based conditions on their unique parenting journey so that they, their children, and their family can thrive.
THINGS YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
- Why prenatal drug and alcohol exposure is often misdiagnosed or goes undiagnosed despite being the leading cause of developmental disabilities in the Western world (CDC Data & Statistics here)
- How stereotypes and stigma contribute to misunderstanding FASD and which demographic is most likely to experience this
- What are the common symptoms of prenatal drug and alcohol exposure
- The concept of dismaturity and how it presents in children with neurobehavioral conditions
- Why Eileen believes a diagnosis is important and helpful
- What a neurobehavioral approach to parenting a child with prenatal exposure to drugs or alcohol entails
- The unique challenges facing adoptive and fostering parents and children with FASD
- The ways in which grief can manifest in parenting and why it is so important to recognize
THANKS SO MUCH FOR LISTENING!
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