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The Better Behavior Show with Dr. Nicole Beurkens

Jul 20, 2022

My guest this week is Eileen Devine

In this episode, Eileen and I discuss parenting through behavior and developmental challenges, with a spotlight on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Whether you have a child diagnosed with FASD or not, I encourage you to listen to this conversation as the content and tips can be applied to parenting kids with or without any behavioral or developmental challenges, at any stage of life.  We talk about why a brain-based parenting lens is so much more effective than a behavior-based approach, especially for kids with behavior challenges or developmental delays.  Eileen’s personal and professional experience with FASD is incredibly insightful, where she shares what FASD does and does not look like, diagnoses, what research shows, and many realistic tips and tools to not just support a child in improving brain development and function, but also helping the parents in the process.

Eileen Devine is a licensed clinical social worker living in Portland, Oregon and has over 20 years of clinical experience. She's also the mother of a teenager with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, a serious brain based disability that has challenging behavioral symptoms. She believes that when we understand the way a child's brain works, we then understand the meaning behind challenging behaviors and begin to see them as symptoms of a child's differences. Through her work with parents, Eileen has created the Resilience Room membership community and the Brain First Parenting Program, both designed to support parents in their unique parenting journey. In addition to her one on one and group work with parents, she also facilitates dozens of workshops and trainings a year and is an instructor for the CASE Institute's Training for Adoption Competency Post-masters certification program.



Connect with Eileen Devine:

  • Insta: @eileen.devine_brain.first
  • Facebook:
  • Website:



Episode Takeaways


Introduction to Eileen Devine & FASD … 00:01:45

What is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and Diagnostic Process … 00:05:52

Outdated Assumptions of FASD Presentation … 00:11:20

FASD, Toxic Stress, & Other Prenatal Substance Exposures … 00:15:40

Common Behavioral Challenges Seen on the Spectrum … 00:18:15 

Parenting Children Who are Physically, Behaviorally or Cognitively Impulsive … 00:26:42

Consequences Aren’t Working: Better Behavioral Techniques … 00:30:15 

Parenting Tips: A Brain-Based Reframe Rather Than a Behavior-Based Lens … 00:35:09

The Gap Between Expectations and What They are Capable of Doing … 00:40:42

Tips & Where to Start for FASD & Behavioral Challenges … 00:47:15 

Resources & Episode Wrap Up … 00:50:10





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