London FASD Conference Workshops – October 27, 2021

How do I attend my chosen workshops during the conference?
Links are available in the main conference room on October 27. They are also on the Agenda page. Click each title below to read more about the presenters and their workshop descriptions.

Keynote: James Reynolds

Dr. James Reynolds is a Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences and the Centre for Neuroscience Studies at Queen’s University. His interdisciplinary research program has included both basic and clinical investigations focused on the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on the developing brain and the resulting cognitive, behavioural and socio-emotional deficits that may occur in children. From 2010-2020 Dr. Reynolds was the Program Lead for the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Research Program in the Kids Brain Health Network – a national Network of Centres of Excellence dedicated to the study of neurodevelopmental disabilities in children. In 2018, Dr. Reynolds was appointed as the Network’s Chief Scientific Officer, in which role he provides scientific leadership to an interdisciplinary network of researchers, clinicians, parents, and both private sector and not-for-profit partner organizations, who work together collaboratively to improve outcomes for children and families.

Workshop Description:
The evolution of the science behind PAE

Prenatal alcohol exposure can result in a broad range of effects on many body systems, but the most profound impacts are on cognition, behaviour and brain development. Research over the past decade using sophisticated technologies in neuroimaging, neurobehavioural assessment and genetics have greatly increased our understanding of the complex pattern of neurodevelopmental brain injury induced by prenatal alcohol exposure and the clinical presentation of children with FASD. This workshop will discuss some of the key findings from these investigations and how this knowledge can be used to inform intervention strategies.

Keynote: Dr. Jean Clinton

Dr. Clinton

Dr. Jean Clinton is a Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster, division of Child Psychiatry. She is on staff at McMaster Children’s Hospital with cross appointments in Pediatrics and Family Medicine, and an Associate in the Department of Child Psychiatry at Sick Children’s Hospital. She is a Fellow of the Child Trauma Academy, as well as a Zero to Three Academy Fellow since 2013. She has been a consultant to children and youth mental health programs, child welfare, and primary care for over 30 years. Dr. Clinton was appointed as an education advisor to the Premier of Ontario and the Minister of Education 2014 – 2018.

Dr. Clinton is renowned nationally and internationally as an advocate for children’s issues. Her special interest lies in brain development, and the crucial role relationships and connectedness play. Jean champions the development of a national, comprehensive child well-being strategy including a system of early learning and care for all young children and their families. She is equally committed to ensuring that children’s and youths’ needs and voices are heard and respected.

Dr. Clinton has also authored her first book, Love Builds Brains which can be ordered online through Tall Pines Press, on Amazon and in bookstores everywhere.

Workshop Description:
Building Healthy Brains – the Way Forward:

This presentation will explore the interplay between early childhood experiences, trauma and prenatal alcohol exposure. We will discuss ways to support the developing brain – hint: it’s all about neuroplasticity and how we built co-regulation and regulation that we are able to start relating and building warm and nurturing relationships with children and their families.

Workshop Title: The impact of prenatal alcohol and/or cannabis on postnatal health outcomes: are there links?

We will discuss the latest information regarding the effects of prenatal alcohol and cannabis (THC, CBD) exposure on short- and long-term outcomes, including any similarities between both drug exposures. These outcomes include craniofacial deficits, along with adverse metabolic and neurobehavioral outcomes. We will focus on known clinical outcomes and review the latest discoveries generated from Western University-based animal models of prenatal ethanol and cannabis-exposure.

Dr. Katherine E. Wilmore, PhD

Dr. Katherine E. Willmore is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. She is also an Associate Scientist with the Children’s Health Research Institute (CHRI). Dr. Willmore completed her BSc (Human Kinetics) from the University of Guelph. She obtained her PhD in Medical Sciences within the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Calgary, under the supervision of Dr. Benedikt Hallgrímsson. Her research interests then led her to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship at Pennsylvania State University in the Department of Anthropology under the mentorship of Dr. Joan Richtsmeier where she addressed questions related to evolution and development of the skull. Since 2013, Dr. Willmore’s laboratory has focused their efforts on understanding the cellular processes that constrain and enable variation in craniofacial morphology using transgenic mouse models of rare human diseases and more recently prenatal alcohol exposure. Her team uses high resolution micro-computed tomography and statistical shape analyses paired with cellular and molecular techniques to try to determine processes in skull development that are susceptible and resilient to genetic and environmental stressors. The long-term goal of her research program is to determine if there are common developmental pathways that show increased vulnerability to multiple different stressors that lead to abnormal skull growth, as these pathways could serve as potential therapeutic targets to prevent or mitigate congenital craniofacial anomalies.

Dr. Daniel B. Hardy, PhD

Dr. Hardy

Dr. Daniel B. Hardy is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Ob/Gyn and Physiology & Pharmacology. He is also a Scientist with the Children’s Health Research Institute (CHRI). Dr. Hardy, born and raised in London, completed his BSc (Co-Op Biology) in 1997 from the University of Waterloo. In 2003, he obtained his PhD in the area of placental glucocorticoid metabolism within the Department of Physiology at UWO, under the supervision of Dr. Kaiping Yang. His research interests then led him to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas under the mentorship of Dr. Carole Mendelson whereby he elucidated some of the mechanisms leading to both term and preterm birth in women. Since 2008, Dr. Hardy’s laboratory focuses upon the molecular mechanisms underlying how impaired fetal development can predispose offspring to metabolic deficits in adulthood. Understanding this is imperative to develop interventions in early life to reduce the incidence and severity of these diseases long-term. His research group has identified changes in nuclear receptor activity, epigenetic influences (e.g. posttranslational histone modifications, microRNAs) and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress stemming from IUGR which lead to altered metabolism long-term. Recently his laboratory group has examined how drugs in pregnancy (i.e. nicotine, 9-THC/CBD, alcohol and SSRI’s) impact long-term metabolism in the offspring. Dr. Hardy is currently supported by a CIHR Cannabis Catalyst Grant, NSERC, NSERC Heart and Stroke Foundation, and the Women’s Development Council. In 2011, Dr. Hardy has received the Perkin-Elmer Early Career Award by the Perinatal Research Society and was named Children’s Health Research Institute’s “Scientist of the Year” in 2014.

Workshop Title: FASD and the law

Individuals with FASD experience a range of difficulties, including disproportionate rates of contact with the criminal justice system. Early identification, and the provision of appropriate supports and interventions for individuals and families serves to promote health outcomes and buffer against difficulties such as criminal justice system contact. Nevertheless, those who do experience contact with the criminal justice system are at inherent risk for increased vulnerability across adjudicative stages and contexts. This workshop will be delivered in two parts.

The first section will outline the current evidence base regarding FASD and the criminal justice system with a focus on the relevance of FASD across stages of adjudication and common concerns and challenges faced at different stages, and briefly describe current emerging best practices for supporting those with FASD in justice contexts. The second section will describe the Reach for It program, a recreational program for youth and their families, living with FASD, including the program’s development and execution. Workshop facilitators will provide a balance of personal and professional perspectives during the session.

Brenna Bonn

I have been a member of the Waterloo Regional Police Service since 1994. I am currently the Inspector at Central Division-Neighbourhood Policing. I assisted in the creation of the Reach For It! Program and I am currently the Vice-President of the Program. I am also Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee. I am also a member of the FASD Action Group in Waterloo Region. I have been married for 25 years and have a 22 year old daughter. I am starting my PhD in July and it will focus on FASD informed training for police officers.

Kaitlyn McLachlan

Dr. Kaitlyn McLachlan is an Associate Professor in the CPA-accredited Clinical Psychology program at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, and a member in good standing of both the College of Psychologists of Ontario and British Columbia (out of province status). Dr. McLachlan completed graduate training in Clinical Psychology (MA, PhD) with a forensic specialization at Simon Fraser University, and subsequent postdoctoral training as a Fellow with the Kids Brain Health Network with concurrent appointments in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta, and the Child and Family Research Institute, Developmental Neurosciences and Child Health, at the University of British Columbia. The overall focus of Dr. McLachlan’s research seeks to improve outcomes for vulnerable individuals, including those with neurodevelopmental disabilities and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), as well as a specific focus on justice-involved individuals, across the lifespan. Dr. McLachlan’s research interests include understanding neurobiological and environmental risk markers associated with adverse outcomes, the importance of establishing valid and reliable screening and identification approaches for FASD across settings, and better understanding risk and protective factors associated with criminal justice system trajectories.

Dr. McLachlan has numerous peer reviewed publications and has been the recipient of awards including the American Psychology-Law Society (APA Div. 41) Dissertation award, and the Canada FASD Research Network Sterling Clarren Award. She was a recipient of the prestigious Banting Research Foundation Discovery Award, and her research program is currently supported by funding from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Canada FASD Research Network. Dr. McLachlan is the current Research Lead for Justice with the Canada FASD Research Network, and her scholarly activities focus developing and translating evidence to inform effective policy responses in the criminal justice system and more broadly.

Workshop Title: Adding FASD informed approaches into your practice

Providing FASD informed approaches to one’s practice and providing practical tips on how to manage moving forward once provided with an FASD diagnosis.

Robyn Brady

Robyn Brady, Bsc. (Soc.) SSW. has spent a thirteen-year career in the Justice Sector supporting young people and adults dealing with FASD, Dual Diagnosis and Concurrent Disorders. Robyn is trained on the Neurobehavioral Model of Behavior Management. From 2012 to 2021, she acted as a mentor to young offenders diagnosed or suspected of FASD, as well provided support to their families to foster an environment conducive for success for a young offender with FASD. Currently, she works as an FASD Service Coordinator with Community Services Coordination Network (CSCN) to provide service coordination based on family goals and provides learning strategies for children in their homes and community. In addition, working collaboratively with professionals to establish a community support team for families in the hopes to foster FASD informed approaches in all environments.

Dilys Haner

Dr. Haner

Dr. Haner is a clinical and forensic psychologist at London Family Court Clinic. She does assessments for family and youth court; and assessments for mental health, neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., FASD, ADHD, ASD), learning, and risk of violence. Dr. Haner is a clinical and forensic psychologist at London Family Court Clinic. She does assessments for family and youth court; and assessments for mental health, neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., FASD, ADHD, ASD), learning, and risk of violence. Dr. Haner provides clinical training to students and residents and completes program evaluation research for LFCC. She is a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) and the Ontario chapter of AFCC and has completed a two-year mentoring process to perform parenting plan evaluations according to the AFCC Model Standards of Practice. At LFCC, Dr. Haner also provides psychotherapy to children, adolescents, adults, and families with a variety of mental health disorders, behavioural disorders, trauma, separation and divorce, and problems of daily living. She provides consultation to youth residential facilities and facilitates a support group for caregivers of children and adolescents with FASD. As a registered psychologist, Dr. Haner has provided training/presentations on topics related to: “Suicide Prevention, Intervention, & Postvention” for Children’s Mental Health and Youth Justice Sectors, “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder,” “Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another,” and “Bullying and Healthy Relationship Development,” as well as various talks on relevant issues for front-line workers and families addressing mental health and behavioural problems in children and adolescents.

Dr. Haner co-authored a book chapter on the assessment of FASD in the juvenile courts to be published by Springer in summer 2021.

Workshop Title: Self Advocacy

The adult years can be very tricky to navigate for individuals with FASD and their caregivers. Society expects them to transition to the adult world of employment and independent living, but developmentally they usually are not ready. Social supports, such as those offered through the provincial FASD Worker program end and too many families report feeling like they have fallen over a cliff with no safety net.
This workshop will highlight ways individuals with FASD and families have developed advocacy skills and created strategies, including outside-the-box ideas, to overcome barriers and develop plans to support individuals with FASD through their adult years, including after their caregivers are gone.

Nancy Lockwood

Nancy Lockwood is an FASD Consultant and Educator with over twenty-five years of work and lived experience supporting individuals of all ages with FASD. From 2015 to Feb. 2021, Nancy was Manager of the Fetal Alcohol Resource Program (FARP) at ABLE2, a program she helped to create and launch in collaboration with Kids Brain Health Network, CHEO and the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa. Her current work includes building capacity at provincial / national agencies to increase their ability to support individuals with FASD and their families; facilitating support groups for caregivers of individuals with FASD including launch of a provincial group for senior caregivers; and development of a provincial resource for lifetime planning for adults with FASD. Nancy has provided customized FASD education workshops to thousands of professionals and front-line workers in multiple sectors and has presented on FASD at the provincial, national, and international level, including to the Senate of Canada.

Darlene Donnelly

Darlene obtained her BA at Carleton University and ECE diploma while living in British Columbia. Darlene has a passion for advocating for those with disabilities and has spent her career supporting children, youth and adults with a disability and their families, promoting inclusion, skill building and accessing resources using collaborative and integrative models and strategies for almost 30 years. Working with individuals who have FASD or suspected FASD is near and dear to Darlene as she had a close family member who struggled with FASD for his short lifetime. She strongly feels if he had been properly diagnosed earlier in his life, he and his family could have been supported by the FASD community and would still be with us today.


Tanya is a Certified FASD Educator with lived experience with FASD. Originally from Newfoundland; Newfoundland Landscape Photographer and Soapstone Sculptor. As an FASD Consultant she sits on two Advisory Committees and a FASD Mentor of two Adult and one Youth FASD Zoom Support Group.

Workshop Title: Understanding speech and language difficulties in FASD

This presentation is intended to detail the methods, roles, and responsibilities of the Speech-Language Pathologist in the care of individuals with FASD and those who are suspected of having FASD.

Mo Oshalla

Dr. Mo

Mohamed (Mo) Oshalla is a Speech-Language Pathologist in private practice. He received his undergraduate education at Western University and his Master of Health Science degree from the University of Toronto. Mo conducted clinical research in swallowing disorders at Toronto Rehab Institute clinical and worked in the ICU, acute care, and rehab departments at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance prior to working with a pediatric population at CPRI. During his tenure at CPRI, Mo worked as a member of the infant development, adolescent mental health, dual diagnosis, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) teams. As a member of the latter, Mo received specialized training in FASD diagnostics and conducted assessments as part of best practice in the diagnosis of FASD. In private practice, in addition to his work in various clinical domains, Mo has continued to provide FASD support as requested by the Youth Justice department and by parents seeking independent SLP input to assist with diagnostic clarification.

Mo lives in St. Thomas, Ontario, is a husband and father to 3 young children.

Keynote: Dr. Michael Rieder

Dr. Rieder obtained his MD at the University of Saskatchewan in 1980 and his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in 1992. His paediatric resident training was at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan and he completed fellowships in Paediatric Clinical Pharmacology and Paediatric Emergency Medicine at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

Dr. Rieder is a Professor with the Department of Paediatrics, Physiology and Pharmacology and Medicine at Western University and a Scientist at the Robarts Research Institute. He is the Past President of the Canadian Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics and is a member of the Drug Therapy Committee of the Canadian Paediatric Society and has served as a consultant to Health Canada, the NIH, the MRC and the Canadian College of Academies. He has won numerous national and international awards including the Senior Investigator Award of the Canadian Society of Clinical Pharmacology and the Academic Leadership Award in Clinical Investigation from the Paediatric Chairs of Canada as well as the Sumner Yaffe Lifetime Achievement Award for Pediatric Pharmacotherapy. Dr. Rieder’s research focuses on drug safety, adverse drug reaction, optimal therapeutics in children and steroid biology with a special emphasis on corticosteroids and stress. This includes studying genetic variations and their impact on drug efficacy and safety and mechanistic studies of drug hypersensitivity as well as studies of acute, chronic and long term stress and on optimal effective and safe drug therapy for children. He is the author of the CPS Statement on Medical Marijuana in Children and has spoken on this topic as well as Drug Safety in Children in many venues.

Workshop Description:
Cannabinoids and FASD

This workshop will review the basic biology and mechanisms of action of cannabinoids for neurological indications in children as well as the research supporting the use of medical cannabinoids for treatment of children with neurological disorders. There will then be a consideration of potential risks and benefits of cannabinoid therapy, practical issues in the use of medical cannabinoids as well as a discussion of research in this area and how these issues may or may not apply to the care of children with FASD.

Workshop Title: Medication use in FASD

Presentation on research and practice approaches to managing symptoms of FASD. Power point, copies of algorithm, infographic of step-by-step approach to using algorithm clinically evaluation form for use of algorithm

Dr. Ana Hanlon-Dearman

Dr. Hanlon-Dearman is a developmental pediatrician and the Medical Director of the Manitoba FASD Centre and the Child Development Clinic at Specialized Services for Children and Youth in Winnipeg Manitoba. She is a Full Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health at the Max Rady College of Medicine in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba where she is the Section Head of Developmental Pediatrics. She is a Diagnostic Co-Lead (Pediatrics) with CanFASD and is involved in FASD research nationally. A selection of her key publications in FASD include recent population health publications describing the health, social, education, and justice outcomes of children with FASD, a number of papers describing social and systemic risk factors contributing to FASD, and of importance to pediatricians and health care providers, anticipatory guidance for those caring for children and youth with FASD.

Dr. Mansfield Mela

Dr. Mansfield Mela (MBBS, FWACP, MSc Psych, FRCPC), Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Saskatchewan, is an academic forensic psychiatrist and a Founder of the forensic subspecialty in Canada. He is also the current director of the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science and Justice Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. As an expert, he testifies on various aspects of the interface of law and psychiatry. These include criminal and civil matters. He is an associate faculty member of the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan and teaches medical and law undergraduate and post graduate students. He is the co-Lead of the patient-oriented research hub in forensic mental health in Saskatchewan. He is a member of the Saskatchewan Review Board and the Saskatchewan Physician Health program. He is the vice Chair of the Forensic Research Network and was a pioneer member and lead of the interdisciplinary research team of academic professionals in forensic mental health research in the University of Saskatchewan. His research focuses on psycholegal aspects of forensic mental health, with specific interests and expertise in the area of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). He is a lead researcher with Canada FASD research network (CanFASD). His other research interests include the role of spirituality, religiosity and forgiveness in moderating criminogenic factors. He brings a clinical and patient-oriented perspective to his research questions and seeks to generate research and implement knowledge to achieve evidence-based practice amongst forensic mental health and FASD populations. Reducing victimization and improving patient outcomes especially among the vulnerable, form the foundation of his clinical and scholarly activities.

Workshop Title: Doing things differently – Stigma and the ‘missed ones’

This interactive workshop will look at how stigma interrupts getting the right diagnosis, supports and opportunities for people who have or may have FASD. This results in a lower quality of life but also increases the likelihood of and the impact of trauma. Regrettably, this can also lead to the unhelpful and sometimes harmful treatment, no treatment or worse, denial of opportunities that can lead to meaningful participation in the community and having relationships that matter. We strongly believe that people who may have FASD have the rights to medical, social, rehabilitative, occupational, educational and other supports. FASD should not be the forgotten disability, as given the prevalence rates as they are, it is probable that practitioners are supporting people who are affected by PAE; we often just don’t realize it.

The workshop will consider:
  • The place of systemic stigma and its implications
  • Who gets missed in diagnosis and care
  • Those who may be struggling but the question of PAE/FASD is not asked
  • Focusing on behavior instead of asking why the behavior
  • The place of inter-generational transmission
  • Unhealthy coping
  • The place of social determinants of health to create better outcome

Dr. Peter Choate

Dr. Choate

Peter Choate is a Registered Social Worker and Member of the Clinical Registry, Approved Clinical Supervisor for the Alberta College of Registered Social Workers. He is Professor and Program Coordinator of Social Work at Mount Royal University. His research interests include the lived experience of person with FASD. Other research focuses upon the colonial relationships between child intervention, family courts and Indigenous peoples.

Relevant recent publication: Choate, P., Tortorelli, C., Aalen, D., Beck, J., McCarthy, J., Moreno, C. and Santhuru, O. (2020). Parents with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder within Canada’ Child Protection Trials. Canadian Family Law Quarterly. 39, 283-307

Angela Geddes

Angela Geddes CYW, BA (Psych), MSW, RSW

Angela Geddes has over 25 years’ experience supporting individuals in a variety of settings. She is currently in private practice providing education, advocacy and direct support for individuals and families experiencing complex issues including the impact of PAE/FASD. Angela is also an active member of the FASD ONE Diagnostic Action Group and involves herself in many different projects aimed at building a more inclusive service delivery system.

Workshop Title: Sleep changes and FASD

Sleep is crucial to our daily functioning. Having bad sleep starts a vicious cycle. Without having quality sleep the impact can be seen on learning, memory, executive functioning, attention, mood regulation and behavior. Children with FASD experience heightened issues with inattention, hyperactivity and other behavioural problems resulting in problematic daily functioning, in turn causing increased mental and physical workload on the care giver.

Dr. Colin Shapiro

Dr. Shapiro trained in medicine in South Africa. He also completed two science degrees and at that time he developed his interest in sleep research. He moved to Scotland to do a Ph.D. in sleep and subsequently trained in Psychiatry in Edinburgh. He was headhunted to the Psychiatry Department at the University of Toronto as the youngest full professor at the medical school.

Dr. Shapiro founded the British Sleep Society and the International Neuropsychiatry Association. He published the first forensic sleep book with internationally renowned author Sandy McCall Smith. He has published over 300 papers, authored over 20 books and 500 other publications including 2 children’s books. He recently completed a large edited book on CPAP adherence which has authors from 5 continent’s which will come out in February. His interest includes training others in the sleep field and he has a part-time interest as an art critic. He currently runs the International Sleep Clinic in Parry Sound and the Youthdale Child and Adolescent Sleep Clinic in Toronto and consults at Sleep On the Bay in Toronto where he consults on FASD, ASD, Narcolepsy and Brain Injury.

Rabiya Fahmi-Rizvi

Rabiya Fahmi-Rizvi works as an assistant and researcher at Sleep on the Bay as well as a clinical trial co-ordinator in sleep studies at Jodha Tishon. She is passionate about pediatric mental health, especially in the FASD and ASD populations. She is currently researching the impact of FASD on sleep in patients and their families. She has co-authored chapters in an encyclopedia on sleep medicine and has also co-authored a book on pediatric sleep apnea. Rabiya obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and more recently, certification in Cognitive Behavioral Sciences specializing in Applied behavior Analysis from York University-Humber College, Toronto, Ontario in 2020. Previously, she was a lecturer in psychology in Ohio, USA and a neurofeedback Technician in Los Angeles, California. She loves spending time with her two children (ages 5 and 1) and baking for her business “Biya Bakes”.


Siann Gault

Siann Gault is in the final year of the Masters in Community Psychology program at Wilfrid Laurier University, researching under the supervision of Dr. Melody Morton Ninomiya. Siann’s research program is centred on creating resources and extending knowledge for individuals with FASD and their surrounding community of support. The scoping review Siann will present today was the product of conversations with the Waterloo Region FASD Action Group suggesting that for individuals living with FASD, the transition to adulthood can be a particularly trying period. The Action Group suggested that a resource elucidating what is known in terms of supporting this transition would be beneficial, which resulted in the scoping review.


What technology do I need to attend?

Conference announcements

Conference overview

About the organizers

About the presenters and their workshops

General agenda and speakers

Research Posters

Art Gallery

Questions? Contact