Dr Brown has longstanding interests in advocating for the needs of Care Experienced Children and is committed to supporting the nationwide development of FASD services and improving clinician confidence in the diagnosis of FASD. Dr Brown, with Dr Shields, led the pioneering FASD pilot diagnostic clinic based in NHS Ayrshire and Arran. Dr Brown holds a Masters Degree in Medical Education from the University of Dundee and regularly teaches and presents at conferences on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Dr Brown was a member of the SIGN Guideline (156) Children & Young People exposed pre-natally to alcohol.
Consultant in Forensic, Clinical and Neuropsychology, State Hospitals Board for Scotland
Dr O’Rourke has worked as a consultant neuropsychologist since 2004 with a clinical and research focus on how to improve the diagnosis and assessment of cognitive impairment. Dr O’Rourke’s particular focus is on improving our understanding of the impact that cognitive impairments have on an individuals’ behaviour, particularly their propensity to, and ability to desist from, offending or violent behaviour.
Dr Shields has a longstanding interest in neurodevelopmental conditions and acquired brain injury having worked in both specialities and completed the Post Graduate Diploma in Paediatric Clinical Neuropsychology. Dr Shields, with Dr Brown, led the pioneering FASD pilot diagnostic clinic based in NHS Ayrshire and Arran. Dr Shields was a member of the working group for the SIGN Guideline for Autism (145) the SIGN Guideline (156) Children & Young People exposed pre-natally to alcohol.
Matthias Schwannauer graduated with first degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Marburg in 1994. In 1998 he completed his applied clincial psychology training at the University of Marburg with internships in Marburg, Frankfurt, Berlin and Edinburgh. His first position as a qualified clinical psychologist was in the Adolescent Mental Health Services in Greater Glasgow NHS. He moved to NHS Lothian and the University of Edinburgh in January 2000. During this time he was able to carry out his research into psychological interventions for bipolar disorders. This research involved the implementation of a randomised controlled trial of Cognitive Interpersonal Therapy and an investigation of the role of interpersonal and cognitive factors in mood regulation in bipolar disorders and the recovery process.
Moira Plant is Emeritus Professor of Alcohol Studies at Bristol University of the West of England and Adjunct Professor Curtin University Perth Australia. Her areas of interest include women and alcohol, pre-natal alcohol exposure and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). She has published on these and related subjects in peer reviewed journals and books. Moira is the UK lead on the Gender Alcohol and Culture: An International Project (GENACIS) which now includes over 40 countries worldwide.
She has acted as consultant to the World Health Organisation, the European Union, the UK and other governments, the Centre for Addiction Research & Education Scotland (CARES) and is a UK consultant to the US Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (CIFASD). Moira is a psychotherapist and trains and supervises counsellors.
Ken is a clinical psychologist and Head of Psychological Speciality: Child and Learning Disability Psychology within NHS Ayrshire and Arran. He has worked in both clinical and academic posts during his career, with his research interests focused upon the area of intellectual disability.
Ruth was awarded her PhD in 2019 at the University of Edinburgh and worked as a postdoctoral Research Assistant before joining the FAAST team as a Research Fellow. Ruth’s primary research interests include the correlates and consequences of mental health difficulties, with a particular focus on the interplay between affective symptoms, alexithymia, ADHD, and autism. Ruth’s broader research interests include substance misuse, adverse childhood experiences, and the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage.
Stewart was awarded his PhD in 2020 at the University of South Australia, Adelaide. Stewart worked as a research assistant with the Australian Centre for Child Protection prior to joining the FAAST team as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow. Stewart’s PhD thesis focused on the development of a screening tool to identify children at risk of having Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). His broader interests include FASD in the context of child protection and the concurrence of FASD and trauma.
Carol has over 20 years of project management experience within the private sector. After graduating from the University of St Andrews with a degree in Psychology, she entered the world of financial services gaining a wide range of experience across a variety of roles. She has held the voluntary role of Children’s Panel member for over 10 years, where she has seen the wide-ranging impact FASD can have on families.
Rachel has a long-standing interest in raising awareness of FASD through specialist education and training. Rachel was a member of the pioneering pilot FASD Team based in Ayrshire and Arran, working alongside Dr Brown and Dr Shields. Rachel has led on the development and design of FASD resources and FASD training packages, which focus on improving awareness and knowledge, for professionals across health and social care. Rachel presents at conferences on the management of alcohol use in pregnancy and FASD training.
National Steering Group
We are in the process of assembling a National Steering Group for Scotland’s work in FASD. Through partnership with international leaders in the field of FASD we hope that Scotland will benefit from their learning and knowledge to better operationalise our goal to implement best practice in FASD.
FASD Reference Group
We are committed to ensuring that our work is informed by the views and experiences of those affected by FASD, as well as their families and caregivers. To do this FAAST is partnering with the FASD Hub Scotland to create an FASD Reference Group with membership from these individuals, which will sit alongside the national steering group, serving in a key advisory role for FAAST.