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SDRC History

Before SDRC was created, the Arkansas Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program screened individuals for FASD for many years. Families would attend "screening clinics" and would leave with a few resources.

It was not until 2017 when a group of LEND trainees realized that they had the professional backgrounds necessary to asses for and diagnose ND-PAE. And thus, the planning began.

The first official FASD diagnosis through what is now SDRC happened in the spring of 2018. One client was evaluated and diagnosed with ND-PAE. In the fall of 2018, a group of LEND trainees attended a national disability advocacy conference, where they wrote the idea for an FASD diagnostic clinic on a napkin. That idea would turn into SDRC within the year.

Dr. Cleveland moved SDRC from being held in the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science in the spring, to the Speech-Language-Hearing Center at the University of Central Arkansas. In 2019, SDRC evaluated two clients in the spring and two clients in the fall.

SDRC evaluated one client prior to shifting to a fully virtul approach in the spring of 2020. In April of 2020, SDRC evaluate its first fully online client. That summer, SDRC evaluated the first adult client. And that year, SDRC completed a total of 27 evaluations.

In 2021, SDRC had fully adapted a hybrid approach to evaluation. The SDRC team had four consistent faculty members: Dr. Cleveland, Dr. Love, Mr. Deere, and Ms. Lepard. Together, they evaluated over 30 individuals and trained over 10 students in 2021.

By the spring of 2022, the average number of clients evaluated per semester increased from 1 to over 10. A total number of 38 clients was seen in 2022.

Prior to 2023, SDRC functioned as an academic clinic housed in Dr. Cleveland's research lab. By the end of the spring of 2023, the SDRC team began billing for their services to ensure sustainability of the clinic. In 2023 the SDRC team also moved from Conway to Little Rock and the clinic averaged 5 evaluations per month.

In January of 2024, SDRC became an offical nonprofit company, complete with a Board of Directors. The team's self-advocacy consultant, Amy Smith, also launched a podcast about living with FASD. An out-of-state clinic day was created for the number of out-of-state referrals, and four extra in-state clinic days were added per month to keep up with the referral numbers.

Significant Contributors

David Deere, LCSW

David retired in 2020 as the Director of Partners for Inclusive Communities, a center of excellence in disabilities that is a program of the University of Arkansas.  For the past fifteen years, his focus has been on awareness, education, and developing services for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.  He is a social worker by training and is a founding member of SDRC.



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Amy Smith, BA

Amy is a self-advocate that works closely with the SDRC staff. She was a LEND trainee in 2022-2023 and a LEND junior faculty member in 2023-2024. Amy is the host of the podcast, Purrspectives: Looking through an FASD lens. 

Self-Advocacy Consultant

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