FASD Empowered Education Donnie Kanter Winokur



Donnie Winokur
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Expert


Meet Donnie Kanter Winokur, FASD expert witness, speaker, award winning author, advocate

Donnie Winokur is an internationally known speaker, writer, producer and advocate who has spent the last 30 years in the communications arena. While Donnie’s interest is based on first-hand experience parenting her own son who is affected by fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), autism, mental illness and a host of differing abilities, her outreach extends to the international level in the field of developmental disabilities. Her passion for education in the area of self-esteem, sexuality, and challenges resulting from disability comes from years of innovative community building.

Donnie became nationally known several years ago for her pioneering efforts in developing programs for healthy self-esteem and body image beginning with the Atlanta Jewish community. In 2000, she became the Founding, Executive Director of The Body and Soul National Institute™. In this capacity, she developed and facilitated programs for the six years the Institute flourished. Over time this educational resource was employed in secular communities, Women’s Shelters and workshops for women and girls living with disability. The program was eventually adapted for the Harvard Center for Eating Disorders.

After learning of her adopted son’s organic brain damage and the accompanying physical, intellectual, mental and behavioral diagnoses, her attention and experience turned to a different kind of advocacy. From 2005 to 2009 Donnie worked diligently to develop and establish NOFAS Georgia, the first state affiliate of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS). She has since become an expert in training professionals on developmental disabilities, mental illness and FASDs: within the justice system, on crisis intervention, for professional service providers, parents and caregivers as well as special educators. As a consultant with Georgia State University’s Center for Leadership in Disability she designed a Training Protocol for Parent Detailers to educate pediatricians in screening, assessment and referrals for children presenting with autism and other developmental disabilities.

In 2008, Donnie’s son, Iyal, obtained the first certified FASD Assistance Dog in the world. Since then, she presents to international experts on the profound benefits of providing service dogs for individuals living with FASDs and other invisible disabilities.  Her work has been published in Adoption Today, the International Journal on Child and Adolescent Health, and Living with FASD for the FASD Support Network of Saskatchewan, Inc.

Currently Donnie works with the Committee for Developmental Disabilities at Jewish Family and Career Services in Atlanta and as a Board of Directors’ member of All About Developmental Disabilities, an Atlanta 53 year-old non-profit. She is serving an appointed 6-year term with the State Advisory Panel on Special Education for Georgia and a 3-year term with the Children’s Justice Act Advisory Committee for Georgia’s Child Abuse and Prevention Act. Lending her expertise on FASD to the justice system also includes training Mitigation Investigators with the Office of the Georgia Capital Defender. Her passion to educate others on the emerging connection between invisible disabilities and the court system is becoming well-known.

Presentations have included key notes for; the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Prevention Team/National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 7th Annual FASD Symposium sponsored by the State of Mississippi’s Mental Health Department, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, Suicide Prevention Program in partnership with the Atlanta Volunteer lawyers Foundation and the Supreme Court of Georgia Committee on Justice for Children. Donnie was honored to present at the First International Conference on FASD and Sexuality in Juneau, Alaska, and has presented on FASD Assistance Dogs in British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta Canada, spoken at the 5th International Conference on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Vancouver (2013), as well as the 2013 Georgia Youth Law Conference. 

Donnie’s family’s story was featuredin The New York Times MagazineFebruary 5th 2012.  The article remained the #1 most emailed story in The New York Times globally for the first 30 days after its publication. Their journey of adoption, disability and their son’s service dog was also profiled in the May 2012 issue of Reader’s Digest Canada, Reader's Digest India, (September 2012), Marie Claire Australia, (May 2012), and was the feature in the September 2012 Guideposts magazine.

As a parent and advocate Donnie continues to promote her 11-year old daughter’s award-winning book, “My Invisible World – life with my brother, his disability and his service dog”. In 2011, she published the children’s book, “Nuzzle – love between a boy and his service boy” written from Chancer’s perspective on how he helps “raise his boy” who lives with invisible disabilities. Nuzzle has already garnered 7 international and national literary awards for both the book and Audio CD.

The Winokur family’s narrative is being developed into an Independent Feature through Hot Flash Films for theatrical release in 2013.


Back (and) To The Future
1973-2013: 40 Years Of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure & FASD
September 26-27, 2013Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, NJ

Click here to download Donnie's Curriculum Viitae.

Click here to download the Downloadable Photos.



Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders get empowere with education  Click here to meet Chancer and learn about FASD

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