The American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies - Webinar

The Impact of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) on Parenting   (MEMBERS ONLY)

Presented by Anthony P. (Tony) Wartnik

This webinar is only available to members
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Webinar Objectives:

  • You will gain important information regarding relevant facts about FASD including, but not limited to, behavioral consideration.
  • You will be able to identify how to investigate for the presence of FASD in parents and children.
  • You will be knowledgeable concerning risk factors in people with FASD.


The various conditions associated with prenatal alcohol exposure fall (PAE) under the umbrella of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). PAE can cause permanent brain damage that manifests in multiple cognitive deficits and associated behavior difficulties. Typically, IQ is not affected, which means most children and adults with FASD are never identified by school professionals and fall through the cracks because their learning problems are viewed as laziness and their misbehavior is viewed as intentional. Professionals who assess parental fitness and those who make judicial decisions based on such assessments not only need to be able to recognize problematic behaviors in children that might stem from brain damage as well as poor parenting and know how to differentiate between those etiologies. In addition, just as PAE may affect children, it also may be a factor in an adult’s parenting capacity. The purpose of this webinar is to provide a basic overview of FASD, how it affects adaptive functioning in children and adults (e.g., learning and social behavior), how to quickly screen for FASD, and what works best in terms of interventions.

A post-test, handout, and certificate of completion will be provided upon completion of this one-hour webinar.

Presenter Biography:

Anthony P. (Tony) Wartnik served as a trial judge for 34 years, 9 years as a limited jurisdiction court judge, followed by almost 25 years on the King County Superior Court in Seattle, Washington, a general jurisdiction court.  He retired as the senior judge in 2005.  As a Superior Court judge, Tony served as the presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court, Family Law Court Chief Judge, and chaired the Family Law Department and  Family and Juvenile Law committees.  Tony also served as Dean Emeritus of the Washington Judicial College, chaired the Washington State Superior Court’s Judicial College Board of Trustees and the Washington Supreme Court’s Annual Judicial Conference Education Committee, and served as the Legislative Bill Screener for the Washington State Superior Court Judges Association (SCJA) for ten years following retirement.

Judge Wartnik chaired a multi-disciplinary task force to establish protocols for determining the competency of youth with organic brain damage involved in the juvenile criminal justice system and the Governor’s Advisory Panel on FAS/FAE.  Following retirement, he served as the Legal Director for FASD Experts, the first multi-disciplinary forensic diagnostic team, and a consultant to the Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit (FADU) at the University of Washington, School of Medicine.  He received both his B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Washington and its School of Law.  In addition, he has attended courses at the National Judicial College, including sessions on managing complex mental health cases and a one-week course on managing death penalty cases, attended SAMSHA’s Training the Trainers Program on FASD, and its annual sponsored sessions updating scientific developments in FASD research.  Judge Wartnik has presented at workshops, symposiums and conferences throughout the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia and the International Congress on the Law and Mental Health at Vienna, Austria on issues related to FASD and the courts.  He has authored articles on the sentencing of people with FASD and regarding the use of the team approach to presenting mitigation evidence in FASD cases as well as other issues involving FASD and the law as well as book chapters for books published by The Journal of Psychiatry & Law and Springer International Publishing of Switzerland, International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine, Volume 63.  As a lawyer, he represented clients prosecuted under the death penalty system of the 1960s, and presided over death penalty cases under the current system as a judge.

Currently, Judge Wartnik is an Adjunct Professor at Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota, teaching courses in the Human Service with an emphasis in Forensic Behavioral Health graduate degree program.

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