8 Keys for Adults with FASD

A film by Dan Redfield for the Alaska Center for FASD

If you would like to show the film at a conference, training, or private event, please contact us at info@alaskacenterforfasd.org or call 907-249-6641 and we will work to accommodate.

On September 8, 2023, 8 Keys for Adults with FASD premiered at the Bear Tooth Theatrepub in Anchorage. Cast members and producers provided a live Q&A at the end of the film. Watch this brief overview of the premiere, with comments from that cast members, producers, and board members of the Alaska Center for FASD. To schedule a showing in your community or for your event, contact: info@alaskacenterforfasd.org.

8 Keys Trailer

Seven adults with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders telling their stories,
challenges, strengths, and strategies for success.


The Alaska Center for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), a non-profit organization, is pleased to announce the release of 8 Keys for Adults with FASD, a documentary film by Dan Redfield for the Alaska Center for FASD featuring seven self-advocates who experience an FASD sharing their stories and the strategies that help them to be successful living with this brain-based difference. See the film trailer here.

The documentary film is a sequel to the 2014 animated short film, ‘8 Magic Keys: For Developing Successful Interventions for Students with FASD,’ created by Alaska special education teacher and FASD specialist, Deb Evensen, in collaboration with Jan Lutke and the Anchorage School District. See the 2014 animated prequel here.

The cast members of the 2023 documentary film, who developed the content with support from Deb Evensen and Alaska Center for FASD founder Marilyn Pierce-Bulger, established key success strategies and developed the interview questions based on those themes. Anchorage filmmaker Dan Redfield filmed and edited the interviews and produced the animation that features Mario, the narrator.

Title slide for 8 Keys for Adults with FASD film

“I have never regretted getting an FASD diagnosis because it helped me put the pieces together and get answers for lots of unanswered questions I had about myself. The diagnosis has also helped me to be more gentle with myself and I now show myself more grace.”
–Gina Schumaker, Cast Member

“The film is a powerful reminder that all is not as it appears when one looks or interacts with someone who may have a ‘hidden disability.’” –Marilyn Pierce-Bulger, Co-Producer

“People perceive me to be higher functioning than I am, so it’s important for me to get people to understand that I do have limitations and I do have disabilities and that they do affect my day to day functionality …[and] I require adaptations to be functional.”
—Morgan Fawcett, Cast Member

“This is a story of wisdom, strength, persistence, and hope. There is so much hope for individuals, families, and communities living with FASD and this film proves it.” –Deb Evensen, Co-Producer

“This project has been eye opening in the sense of how many people are affected with FASD and how they display symptoms differently based on where they are in the spectrum … These people are so strong and beautiful, they deserve to be celebrated. I'm so very grateful to have the chance to tell a small bit of their story." –Dan Redfield, Filmmaker


The film was produced with generous support from the Alaska Department of Health FASD Program. This premiere event is part of the Alaska Center for FASD’s celebration of September International FASD Awareness Month. Read more here.

For Information/Interviews, please contact info@alaskacenterforfasd.org or call (907) 249-6641.


PAE/FASD Facts

  • Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (PAE) is exposure to alcohol before birth. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are a range of diagnoses that can result from PAE, including Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), Static Encephalopathy Alcohol- Exposed (SE/AE), Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND), and others. Note, the term FAE (fetal alcohol effects) has been replaced the term FASD.
  • With or without a diagnosis, the effects of PAE/FASD can present with physical, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms that range from mild to severe, and affect people from all ethnicities. PAE/FASD most commonly impacts brain development, which controls behavior, memory, emotional regulation, attention, and impulse control.
  • The impacts of drinking alcohol during pregnancy are unpredictable and depend on many variables—including what was developing at the time the alcohol was consumed, how much was consumed, what is the metabolism of the mother, the metabolism of the developing baby, genetic, and other factors. There is no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy.
  • PAE/FASD is often misdiagnosed as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder, Oppositional-Defiant Disorder.
  • 7 out of 1,000 live births in Alaska may experience Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), and FAS accounts for only 10% of the total diagnoses on the fetal alcohol spectrum.[1] Individuals with other diagnoses are represented in far greater numbers, estimated at 65 per 1,000 (90% of the diagnoses).[2]
  • Up to 1 in 20 students in the United States may have an FASD (1.1% to 5%) according to a study of over 6,600 first graders in four U.S. cities.[3]
  • Only 1 of every 600 individuals impacted by prenatal alcohol exposure will receive an FASD diagnosis.[4]
  • To read basic facts about PAE/FASD, see 9 Core Messages: What Everyone Should Know About Prenatal Alcohol Exposure.

[1] Health Impacts of Alcohol Misuse in Alaska, Alaska Division of Public Health, (2018).
[2] Alaska Mental Health Trust, Drugs and Alcohol Report, FASD Summary, (2020).
[3] May, Chambers, Kalberg; Prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in 4 US Communities, JAMA, (2018)
[4] Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Can We Change the Future?, Alcohol, Clinical, and Experimental Research, (2020)