World-renowned doctor speaks in Coshocton

| March 22, 2019

Dr. Chasnoff

COSHOCTON – Dr. Ira J. Chasnoff, one of the top pediatric research doctors in the world, recently came to Coshocton to share his knowledge on child development and the effects of maternal drug use on the neonate and child.

The presentation held March 18, at the Coshocton Christian Tabernacle, was made possible by the Coshocton County QIC – Collaborate Community Court Team and the Coshocton County Juvenile Court, Van Blanchard II, Judge.

Coshocton County Juvenile Court was one of 15 sites and one of three in Ohio selected to receive a three-year federal NQIC-CCCT grant to help address the needs of infants, young children and families affected by parental substance use. They are currently in year two of the grant and are working toward having plans of safe care for children born to a mother identified as having substance use issues. Numerous people who might be involved in that plan were invited to attend Chasnoff’s presentation.

“We invited community leaders who might deal with children ages 0-3,” said Leondra Davis, quality improvement coordinator, Coshocton County Juvenile Court. “We had a really good mix of people and I think we hit our target.”

A little more than 100 people attended the all-day presentation.

“There were people who came and said they couldn’t stay all day, but ended up staying,” said Doug Schonauer, CCE, court administrator, Coshocton County Probate and Juvenile Court.

Dr. Chasnoff didn’t just teach attendees how drugs and alcohol impact an unborn child. He went beyond that and taught them how to better interact with the families they are trying to help.

“He talked about what questions to ask and how to form them so you don’t put people on the defense,” Davis said.

Dr. Chasnoff also spent a lot of time discussing what different parts of the brain do and control and how them not being properly developed affects a child’s thinking and abilities.

“Even if you weren’t from a medical field you could understand everything he was saying,” Davis said.

Schonauer said the local grant team saw Dr. Chasnoff last summer when they went to a training in California and jumped at the opportunity to bring him to Coshocton. They were able to do that with funding from the Center for Children and Family Futures, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under grant #90CA1854 with additional support of the Supreme Court of Ohio. The only cost to attendees was their lunch.

“We are hoping to do more trainings and become a trauma-informed community,” Davis said. “We want more people to have training and information on childhood trauma.”

They also are working on collecting data to help them identify what is already being done well and where any gaps in services might be.

“We know the earlier we can provide services and get an accurate diagnoses the bigger difference we can make in the outcome,” Schonauer said.

Everyone who attended received a free copy of Dr. Chasnoff’s book, “The Mystery of Risk: Drugs, Alcohol, Pregnancy and the Vulnerable Child.”

Bethany Clark was excited to receive the book and attend Dr. Chasnoff’s presentation.

“Hopefully our community can get kids the help they need before they end up in law trouble,” she said. “Prenatal substance abuse creates a plethora of development problems which in turn creates behaviors which affect the whole community.”

For more information on the Coshocton County QIC – Collaborate Community Court team, e-mail [email protected]

Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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