Dr McGinn is a founding member of FASD-CAN. As a neuropsychologist she is recognised as New Zealand’s leading expert in FASD, having made hundreds of diagnoses since training at the world-leading Asante Centre in Canada in 2008.
She provides FASD-informed workshops, diagnostic training, supervision and advisory services. Valerie has provided over 100 assessments to the New Zealand Courts, resulting in FASD now being widely recognised and accommodated within the legal system. She presented evidence at the Privy Council resulting in a murder conviction based on a false confession being overturned after 22 years. However, her primary focus is to support individuals with FASD and their families.
Many of those referred Valerie have come from state care, have complex needs, have been stood down from school or have offended due to their disability needs not being understood and accommodated. By using her FASD-informed practice methods, the lives of many have been changed for the better.