Barbara and Rob Wybrecht

NOFAS is pleased to honor Mrs. Barbara Wybrecht, RN, BSN, PHN and her son Rob Wybrecht, for their continuous contributions to FASD education and advocacy.

Barbara is a clinical nurse, specialist trainer, and consultant in the area of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and Alcohol Related Neuro-developmental Disorders. Her lengthy career in FAS/FASD/ARND advocacy and awareness began when she adopted a son, Rob, born in 1973, who was diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Since then she has been instrumental in the development of diagnostic clinics and support groups that have been beneficial to those affected by FASD throughout Michigan and on a national level. In 2002 Mrs. Wybrecht created “Living and Learning with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome,” a summer conference to help individuals with an FASD to understand their disability and find better ways to live with it. She also coordinated a parent-mentoring program for teens, and women in treatment for substance abuse.

Currently, Barbara works as the Clinical Nurse Specialist for the FASD Diagnostic Clinic in Grand Rapids, Michigan and is a Field Trainer for SAMHSA FASD Center for Excellence. Additionally, she is a member of the FAS Juvenile Justice Work Group which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice. Barbara is also an expert speaker on the various aspects of prenatal alcohol exposure. She has presented well over 1,000 workshops, most of which are provide basic information about FASD and related issues. Others are specifically for teachers, nurses, law enforcement professionals, mental health professionals, child welfare workers and parents themselves. Specialized workshops include those on FASD and Sexuality, FASD and the Law, and FASD across the Lifespan – Strategies and Interventions.

With her determination and perseverance as an example, her son, Rob has followed in her foot-steps to become an influential advocate for FAS in his own right. Rob Wybrecht is the only individual diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome to serve on the inter-agency coordinating committee on FASD and he is a member of the steering committee for the FASD Center for Excellence under SAMHSA. He also participated on a task force that developed a peer education training on what to do if stopped by the police for people with disabilities. Rob conceptualized and developed a bumper sitcker about drinking during pregnancy (shown in the picture above) that he sells with proceeds going to FASD organizations. This project has been very successful and most importantly, quite healing for him.

NOFAS would like to offer our appreciation and congratulations to both Barbara and Rob Wybrecht on their outstanding contributions to FASD awareness, education and support!