About the Authors

Dr. Ira J. Chasnoff.jpg

Ira J. Chasnoff, M.D., an award-winning author, researcher and lecturer, is president of NTI Upstream and a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago. He is one of the nation's leading researchers in the field of child development and the effects of maternal alcohol and drug use on the newborn infant and child.  His research projects include a study of the long-term cognitive, behavioral and educational developmental effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol, cocaine, and other drugs; strategies for screening pregnant women for substance use; the effects on birth outcome of prenatal treatment and counseling for pregnant drug abusers; the effectiveness of both outpatient and residential treatment programs for pregnant drug abusers; and innovative treatment approaches for children affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol or illicit drugs. Dr. Chasnoff led the development and operation of a laboratory preschool classroom to develop specific interventions for children prenatally exposed to alcohol and other drugs and developed a model Head Start Family Service Center for children and their families at risk from drugs and the drug-seeking environment.  In addition, Dr. Chasnoff directed one of five national sites conducting research into the integration of behavioral health interventions into primary health care services for high-risk children and their families, and through this project studied the impact of concurrent planning on permanency placement for children in the foster care system.  Since 2002, Dr. Chasnoff has been leading cutting edge research into innovative treatment for children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Read more.

Dr. Ronald J. Powell.jpg

Ronald J. Powell, PhD, President of RJ Powell Consultants and the former Chief Executive Officer of the Desert/Mountain Special Education Local Plan Area, the Desert/Mountain Charter SELPA, and the Desert/Mountain Children’s Center has over 40 years of experience in public education as a special education teacher, consultant, administrator, and adjunct faculty at the University of California, Riverside.  As a published author, accomplished public speaker, and a recognized expert in the administration of school-based mental health services, Dr. Powell has been instrumental in the development of a wide variety of exemplary programs for at-risk youth and has made numerous conference presentations on the subject. Dr. Powell currently serves as a consultant to school districts, county agencies and nonprofit organizations to facilitate the adoption of practices that address the emotional and behavioral health needs of at-risk youth. Dr. Powell serves on the Executive Board of the Children's Fund of the Inland Empire and is a Trustee for the Apple Valley Unified School District. He has been honored by the Association of California School Administrators as the Special Education Administrator of the Year for Region 12 and is the recipient of the Lifetime Advocate award by the Child Abuse Prevention Council for San Bernardino County and the Lifetime Achievement Award by the California Mental Health Advocates for Children and Youth.