Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Pediatrics
Maternal Substance Abuse and Child Development Program (MSACD)
Dr. Coles researches the effects of teratogens on behavior and development from infancy through young adulthood. The MSACD Program includes a program of Research focusing on the developmental effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol, cocaine and tobacco, examining biological, social and neurodevelopmental . In addition, it hosts Prevention services, supported by the State of Georgia. Current activities include neuroimaging of adolescents exposed to cocaine and young adults with prenatal alcohol exposure as well as participation in the Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, an international collaboration which includes both the study of clinically identified youth and a clinical trial, carried out in the Ukraine, of methods for prevention of effects of alcohol exposure during pregnancy. Prevention activities in Georgia include community education and consultation and training of professionals and public.
Dr. Coles clinical work is carried out at the Fetal Alcohol and Drug Exposure Center at the Marcus Autism Center. This Clinic is the only multidisciplinary clinic in the Southeastern United States providing specialized services to individuals prenatally exposed to drugs and alcohol. In addition to clinical services, the Center has a Clinical Research focus and is currently supporting a clinical trial (GoFAR) aimed at children with substance exposure, 3 to 10 years of age who have significant problems with behavior regulation. Previously, the FAS Center developed the MILE intervention program which has proved effective in the treatment of math deficits and behavioral problems in FASD.