The American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies - Webinar

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and Firesetting Behaviors: A Brief Review for Caregivers and Professionals    (MEMBERS ONLY)

Presented by Jerrod Brown, Ph.D, MA, MS, MS, MS

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Webinar Objectives:

  • Analyze key research findings, statistics, and concepts associated with FASD and youth firesetting
  • Consider screening and assessment options to identify youth with FASD who set fires
  • Identify best practices for minimizing the consequences associated with youth firesetting among individuals diagnosed with FASD
  • Review intervention and treatment approaches appropriate for youth diagnosed with FASD who set fires


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is caused by prenatal alcohol exposure and persists across the lifespan. Deficits associated with this disorder include impairments in adaptive (e.g., communication, social responsibility, and personal independence) and executive functioning (e.g., poor decision making, impulsivity, and judgment and reasoning) along with other associated consequences (e.g., confabulation, suggestibility, disordered attachment, maladaptive coping skills, substance misuse, and psychiatric comorbidity). These impairments place an individual at greater odds of becoming involved in the criminal justice system for a range of illegal activities including firesetting. Specifically, anecdotal evidence and case study accounts have suggested that symptoms associated with FASD have been observed among some youth who set fires. Nonetheless, the topic of FASD and firesetting has not yet been thoroughly researched by scholars and this issue is not frequently discussed by criminal justice, youth fire prevention and intervention specialists, and forensic mental health professionals. These observations suggest the need to acquire a basic understanding of FASD and its relationship with known firesetting risks and motivations for criminal justice, youth fire prevention and intervention specialists, and forensic mental health professionals. This training will examine (a) possible causes of firesetting behaviors among individuals with FASD, (b) overlap in descriptive characteristics of youth with FASD and youth who set fires, (c) applicable caregiver and case study accounts, (d) approaches to better identify, screen, and assess individuals with FASD who may be at risk to set fires, (e) appropriate fire-safety strategies, and (f) intervention and treatment methods for youth with FASD who set fires.

Presenter Biography:

Jerrod Brown, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor for Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota and has extensive experience teaching courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. Jerrod has also been employed with Pathways Counseling Center in St. Paul, Minnesota for the past seventeen years. Pathways provides programs and services benefiting individuals impacted by mental illness and addictions. Jerrod is also the founder and CEO of the American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies (AIAFS) and the Editor-in-Chief of Forensic Scholars Today (FST). Jerrod has completed four separate master’s degree programs and holds graduate certificates in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Other Health Disabilities (OHD), and Traumatic-Brain Injuries (TBI). Jerrod is also certified as a Youth Firesetting Prevention/Intervention Specialist, an Anger Resolution Therapist (CART), a Thinking for a Change (T4C) Facilitator, a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Trainer, an Autism Specialist, and a Mental Health Integrative Medicine Provider (CMHIMP).

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