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The Mystery of Risk
The Mystery of Risk

The Mystery of Risk

Drugs, Alcohol, Pregnancy, and the Vulnerable Child



279 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Cloth, EPUB, Mobipocket

Cloth, $24.99 (US $24.99) (CA $27.95)

Publication Date: February 2011

ISBN 9780984053155

Rights: US & CA

NTI Upstream (Feb 2011)


eBook Editions Available

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Price: $24.99


The ill effects of a baby’s exposure to drugs and alcohol while in the womb are demonstrated in this essential reference with cutting-edge information from the fields of medicine, neuroscience, and child psychology. These findings posit that many of the learning and behavior problems seen in children—from poor school performance to patterns of impulsivity often diagnosed as ADHD—are both treatable and preventable. The book first traces the history of fetal malformation back to the time of Aristotle, then presents a resounding call for integrated systems of care for high-risk children and their families. Methods for applying behavior management and treatment techniques are included for health care practitioners, social workers, early childhood intervention specialists, special education teachers, and parents, whether for use at home, at school, or in the clinical setting.


“Scientifically grounded material provides the reader not only with an understanding of the damage caused by alcohol and other substances to the developing brain and body but also insights into practical and policy maters and the most up-to-date information about FAS, ARND, and ARBD.” —Gregory Keck, PhD, director, Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio, and author, Parenting the Hurt Child

“This essential book for parents and professionals elucidates how brain differences can result in challenging, involuntary behaviors, and provides practical, real-life strategies to enhance information processing and self-regulation. Warm, wise, and accessible, it provides invaluable insights on a range of issues, from managing out-of-bounds behavior to helping with sensory sensitivities and more.” —Lindsey Biel, OTR/L, co-author, Raising a Sensory Smart Child

“This is a gem of a book that caregivers, health professionals and health policy makers will find as a valuable source of information and understanding of children at risk for developmental problems following prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol.” —Albert E. Chudley, professor of pediatrics and child health, University of Manitoba

“From the sophisticated discussion of the neurobiology of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders to the touching case studies, Dr. Chasnoff has provided us with an essential resource for clinicians and parents . . . This is a book for everyone with children in their lives or those dealing with the epidemic of addiction.” —Jacquelyn Starer, MD, FACOG, FASAM, and co-chair, ASAM Work Group on Women and Addiction

“By expanding a court’s ability to understand the implications of alcohol and substance use by pregnant mothers and its effect on their children, Dr. Chasnoff takes the mystery (and the blame) out of seemingly illogical and unacceptable juvenile behaviors. He provides in concrete terms, specific tools so as to allow a court to create and implement real and effective safety plans for parents of these children in child protective proceedings and to create effective strategies and implement appropriate dispositions for children in juvenile justice proceedings.” —Rebecca A. Irving, chief judge, Passamaquoddy Tribal Court

Author Biography

Ira J. Chasnoff, MD, is the president of Children’s Research Triangle and a professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He is one of the nation’s leading researchers in the field of prenatal exposure to alcohol and illicit drugs and is the author of eight books, including Drugs, Alcohol, Pregnancy, and Parenting, which received the Book of the Year Award from the American Journal of Nursing. He lives in Chicago.