Finding success in FAS education

Photo by Charles Mason
Judy Kleinfeld
Fantastic Antone Succeeds
University of Alaska Press

In the early 1990s, there wasn't much research on how to educate children with fetal alcohol syndrome. A University of Alaska Fairbanks professor thought about applying for a research grant, but she recognized the immediate need for practical information.

So Judith Kleinfeld, now professor emeritus of psychology, figured out a way to gather information quickly and share it broadly. She organized the first international conference on FAS where people shared the wisdom gained through educating and working with alcohol-affected children.

"We basically traded ideas as to what was good," she said. "So I asked the people who I thought had a special contribution to make to write a chapter and tell me what are they doing that makes any difference with their children."

Psychologists, teachers, and birth and adoptive parents of alcohol-affected children all penned their stories in the book, "Fantastic Antone Succeeds: Experiences in Educating Children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome." Published in 1993, it became the first major resource of its kind, and its optimism provided hope for many.

Kleinfeld gave talks about the strategies presented in the book throughout the country and published a sequel in 2000, "Fantastic Antone Grows Up: Adolescents and Adults with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome."

Such efforts helped Kleinfeld earn a reputation as an advocate for the education of marginalized men and women of all ages and socioeconomic levels.

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