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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders In Foster and Adopted Traumatized Children: Recognizing the Symptoms; Learning Effective Interventions Lois A. Pessolano Ehrmann Ph. D, LPC, CAC- Diplomate Registered ATTACh Therapist/ EMDR (EMDRIA) Clinician The Individual and Family CHOICES Program 2214 Atherton Street, Suite 4 State College, PA 16803 (814) 237 -0567 www. individualandfamilychoices. com
Spider Web Walking…
Learning Objectives By the end of this training participants will: • Have an increased awareness about the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in the domestic and international populations of adopted/fostered children based upon available research and formalized studies. • Have increased knowledge regarding the negative consequences of prenatal alcohol and drug exposure on the psychological, physical, emotional, cognitive, interpersonal, and neurological systems of children exposed to substances in utero regardless of birth or adopted status. • Gained important knowledge regarding the direct effects of alcohol on developing brain structures based on PET/f. MRI and SPECT studies and how these effects translate into cognitive, emotional and behavioral symptoms post birth. • Possess detailed information regarding available resources for parents and professionals working with this population. • Have integrated knowledge concerning the misdiagnosis of children with FASDs which results in mismatched treatment interventions that may actually worsen the outcomes for these children. • Have learned 3 -5 strategies or interventions which are helpful to the populations of adopted/fostered and birth children who also have FASDs.
Overview of Presentation The Morning Session • Introductory Remarks – Definitions and concepts • Current Models of FASDs. – Incidences of FASDs in US and foreign children whether foster/adopted or birth status • Signs and Symptoms – Visible versus invisible – Attachment versus FASD versus Complex Trauma – FASD versus true ADHD versus PTSD versus LDs • Some Helpful Strategies, Tools and Resources for Parents • Questions and Answers/ Evaluations
Overview of Presentation The Afternoon Session • Introductory Remarks: Some guidance from the research • Medication issues • Empirically Supported Strategies • Five empirically validated model programs • Common basic ingredients • Parental Involvement • What we see working in State College, PA – – – School collaboration and IEP considerations EMDR and bilateral stimulation Neurofeedback Attachment focused Family Therapy IFS/Parts work with both parents and their children (Video Clips) Questions and Answers/ Filling out evaluation forms 5
What is FASD? “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder refers to a constellation of physical and mental birth defects that may develop in individuals whose birth mothers consumed alcohol during pregnancy. ” (Duquette et al. , 2006) “Ethanol freely crosses the placenta, thus directly affecting developing fetal cells and tissues. ” (Niccols, 2007) Alcohol as are other drugs as well is a teratogen.
History • First reference to adverse effects of alcohol on the fetus: – “Beware and drink no wine or strong drink…for lo, you shall conceive and bear a son. ” (Judges 13: 4, 5) • First scientific study – Sullivan 1899; increased rate of still-birth and infant death in children of alcoholic women • 1940 s: Haggard and Jellinek concluded that the developmental abnormalities of children born to alcoholic mothers were secondary to the environment in which they were raised. • 1950’s and 1960’s: French studies identified children of alcoholic mothers as having malformations, growth deficiency, and psychomotor disturbances (Lamache, 1967; Lemoine, Harousseau, Borteryu, & Menuet, 1968 as cited in Niccols, 2007). No one really paid too much attention. • 1970 s: interest in the adverse effects of alcohol increased and concern about alcohol as a teratogen was mentioned. Streissguth, now a famous researcher in the field of FASDs started researching the patterns of malformation that occurred in children born to alcoholic mothers who drank while they were pregnant and the term Fetal Alcohol Syndrome was coined. • 1980 s-the new millennium in 2009 there have been hundreds of investigations identifying the risks and consequences of consuming alcohol during pregnancy and these reports have been supplemented by animal experimental study as well. Streissguth (1997) in her book Fetal Alcohol Syndrome reports on her most comprehensive well know study. • Lots of studies have looked at the characteristics of children prenatally exposed and new brain imaging technologies have really helped to link brain effects to behavioral expressions or manifestations. • Very few studies on how to assist persons who have been exposed.
Current Model and Conceptions of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders • From animal studies (rats) • Investigations on children, adolescents and adults with known histories of maternal use during pregnancy including post-mortem evaluations • Research in the last 10 years has been greatly prolific due to new technologies in f. MRIs, SPECT scans and other neuroimaging procedures.
FASDs 38 % of all individuals who have a FASD have the physical craniofacial features which means that 62% do not!
Facial Anomalies From Wattendorf et al. , (2005)
Examples of Variability
The Faces of Persons who have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
People who have FASD
Diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2000) – – • Confirmed maternal alcohol consumption Growth deficiency Specific patterns of anomalies Central nervous system abnormalities FAS Diagnostic and Prevention Network (2004) supports the 4 digit Diagnostic code of all FASDs introduced by Astley and Clarren (1997) as cited in Pei & Rinaldi (2004). 1. 2. 3. 4. Growth impairment The FAS facial phenotype Evidence of brain damage Prenatal alcohol exposure This system uses a team approach and investigates all of these four areas comprehensibly and then the team rates these four items are rated on a four point Likert scale. A full diagnosis of FAS requires 3 s and 4 s in all four categories. Other diagnosis (ARND; FAE, p. FAS etc. ) have scores that vary that are greater than 1. • Diagnosing in Cutting Edge Ways – Eye movement deficits (Green et al. , 2009) – Functional MRIs, SPECT Scans, PET Scans
Prevalence of FASD in the US Population Statistics on FASD in US For full blown FAS: CDC 0. 2 -1. 5/1000 births Other Studies suggest: 0. 5 -2. 0 per 1000 births* For all FASD: Researches believe all FASDs are 4 Xs the prevalence of FAS. 10 per 1000 births or 1% of the US population* UDHHS (2007): 40, 000 newborns a year meet the criteria for a FASD. High Risk US Populations: Native Alaska 3. 0 -5. 6 per 1000 births* Native American 9 -10 per 1000 births *Source: NIAAA: May & Gossage retrieved 2008
Prevalence of Prenatal Drug Exposure • Chasnoff (1989): 11% of all newborns, approximately 459, 690 are exposed prenatally each year. • Gomby & Shiono (1991): 739, 000 women use illicit drugs during pregnancy every year. • Schipper (1991): A substance exposed infant is born more frequently than once ever 90 seconds.
FASD and Prenatal Drug Exposure Incidences in US Foster/Adopted Children Not much is known. Wedding et al. , (2007): psychologist did not have accurate understanding about FASDs, danger of alcohol use in pregnancy. Peadon et al. , (2008): Very few places do accurate diagnosis of FASDs and most are located in North America. What is known follows: Foster Children study in Washington State. Astley, Stachowiak, Clarren, & Clausen (2002) FAS 10 -15 times higher than in the general population Mayet et al. , (1983), Streissguth et al. , (1985) estimated that 73 to 80 % of all children in US foster care or placed for adoption have full blown FAS. Ehrmann (2006) found that 28% of adopted children out of the US foster care system were exposed to alcohol prenatally and 47% were exposed to some illicit drug prenatally.
Adopted Children from Foreign Countries Eastern Europe 15 per 1000 births Extrapolated to approximately 21, 000 children born with FASD each year Source: Orphan Doctor @ www. orphandoctor. com Miller it al. , 2006 Phenotypic Survey of Children residing in Russian Orphanages revealed that 45% of the children had intermediate and 15% had high phenotypic expression scores suggesting prenatal exposure To alcohol.
Risk Factors • Dose of alcohol • Pattern of exposure – Binge versus chronic • Developmental timing Of exposure • Genetic variation • Maternal characteristics • Synergistic reactions with other drugs • Interaction with nutritional variables
Dosage Effect Source: Larry Burd, Ph. D North Dakota Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Center 501 N. Columbia Road Grand Forks, ND 58203
Dosage Example First Second Third Fourth Fifth • No FASD even though maternal consumption happened • Lots of allergies. • Became a drug addict now in recovery. • Learning • Seizure disorder and alcohol and drug addicted • Full blown FAS disabilities. • Depression.
Developmental Timing of Exposure
The Rest of The Story Streissguth and Colleagues Primary Disabilities: • Lower IQ • Impaired ability in reading, spelling, and arithmetic • Lower level of adaptive functioning; more significantly impaired than IQ
Typical Disabilities • Typical Disabilities: – Sensory Integration Issues (Franklin, Deitz, Jirikowic & Astley, (2008) • Researchers found high correlation between sensory integration and processing measures and the Achenbach CBCL – In general Children with FASDs • • • Are overly sensitive to sensory input Upset by bright lights or loud noises Annoyed by tags in shirts or seams in socks Bothered by certain textures of food Have problems sensing where their body is in space (i. e. , clumsy)
Typical Disabilities Continued • Memory Problems – Working memory – Multiplication – Time sequencing • Information Processing Problems – – – – Do not complete tasks or chores and may appear to be oppositional Have trouble determining what to do in a given situation Do not ask questions because they want to fit in Say they understand when they do not Have verbal expressive skills that often exceed their level of understanding Misinterpret others’ words, actions, or body movements Have trouble following multiple directions
Typical Disabilities Continued • Executive Function Problems – – – – – • Go with strangers Repeatedly break the rules Do not learn from mistakes or natural consequences Frequently do not respond to point, level, or sticker systems Have trouble with time and money Give in to peer pressure Cannot entertain themselves Trouble shifting from task to task Attention issues Self-Esteem and Personal Issues – – – Function unevenly in school, work, and development Experience multiple losses Are seen as lazy, uncooperative, and unmotivated Have hygiene problems Do not accurately pick up social cues
Typical Disabilities Continued Hearing, speech and language • Due to craniofacial abnormalities of FAS – Cleft palate – Otitis media with effusion and conductive hearing loss – Voice dysfunction, articulation disorders – Speech and language delays – Language abilities seem lower than would be expected given child IQ
Typical Disabilities Continued • Social Development Issues – Atypical attachment behavior and impairment in state regulation – Outgoing, socially engaging, affectionate and excessively friendly – Preschoolers tend not to appear to differentiate familiar from unfamiliar – Studies citing parental and teacher reports indicate arrested social development rather than delayed social development – Deficits in Theory of Mind (TOM)
Secondary Disabilities • Mental health issues • Disrupted school experience • Trouble with the law – They lie (Rasmussen, Talwar, Loomes, & Andrew (2008) • Inappropriate sexual behavior • Confinement in jail or treatment facilities • Alcohol and drug problems • Dependent living • Employment problems
Percentage of Persons with FAS or FAE that had Secondary Disabilities = Age 6+ = Age 12+ = Age 21+
FASDs and the Brain for an excellent summary of the neuroimaging of cognitive function in FASDS see Malisza (2007)
Alcohol Affects the Brain Source: Teaching Students with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Florida State University Center for Prevention and Early Intervention Policy (2005)
Brain Structure and Function Studies Damage depends on the state of embryological development • Conception to first weeks of prenatal development: – cytotoxic or mutagenic • 4 -10 weeks after conception – Excessive cell death in the CNS and abnormal nerve cell migration – Disorganization of tissue structure and microcephaly • 8 -10 weeks and on – Disorganization and or delay in cell migration and development • Third Trimester Damage to the cerebellum, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex
Continuum of Brain Dysfunction Source: Larry Burd, Ph. D North Dakota Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Center 501 N. Columbia Road Grand Forks, ND 58203
Before Birth • Low growth rate due to suppression of growth hormone in hypothalamus • Increases HPA activity and disrupts hormonal interactions between maternal and fetal systems affecting the development of fetal metabolic, physiologic and endocrine functions • Disrupts synaptogenesis causing neurons to commit suicide (die by apoptosis) on a massive scale
Early Development • HPA disruptions result in high basal and post stress corticol levels • Hyper-responsiveness to stress and immune system vulnerabilities • High levels of irritability and feeding and sleeping problems • As preschoolers: “short, skinny children with butterfly like movements who are hyperactive and/or excessively friendly and fearless” (Streissguth & Giunta, 1988). • Developmental delays, language issues and poor motor coordination are also noted during this period of development
Hippocampus in the Human Brain
Hippocampus • Plays a major role in: – Short term memory – Spatial navigation • In a MRI study Rijkonen, Salonen, Partanen, & Verho (1999) found that children with FAS have smaller left hippocampus volume then right and this is associated with memory deficits.
Hypothalamus in the Human Brain
Hypothalamus • The Hypothalamus does the following – Hormone regulation and metabolic processes – Linking of nervous system to the endocrine system via the pituitary gland – Controls hunger, thirst, body temperature, fatigue, anger, circadian cycles and sexual drive and is part of fight/flight/freeze • Suppression of growth hormone controlled by Hypothalamus happens in children with FASD. • Dysregulation
Basal Ganglia in the Human Brain
Basal Ganglia • A group of nuclei/interconnected in healthy individuals’ brains with the cerebral cortex, thalamus and brain stem. • Responsible for: – – Motor control Cognition Emotions Learning • MRI studies show disproportionate reductions in basal ganglia volume in children with FAS and FAE especially in the caudate nucleus which is involved in higher cognitive functions and connected neuronally to the frontal lobes where executive functioning resides (Archibald et al. , 2001). • PET studies reveal reduced metabolic activity in the caudate nucleus in high functioning adolescents and adults with FAS (Clark et al. , 2000).
The Corpus Callosum
Corpus Callosum • What does it do? – Connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain – Consists of 200 - 250 million contralateral axonal projections – Inter-hemispheric communication • Abnormalities in individuals with FAS including agenesis and thinning in the anterior and posterior regions. • Displacement of the isthmus and splenium related to deficits in verbal learning. • Refer to Roebuck-Spencer, Mattson, Marion et al. , 2004 on some current findings related to the corpus callosum and bimanual coordination
Corpus Callosum in the Human Brain A. Magnetic resonance imaging showing the side view of a 14 -year-old control subject with a normal corpus callosum; B. 12 -year-old with FAS and a thin corpus callosum; C. 14 -year-old with FAS and agenesis (absence due to abnormal development) of the corpus callosum. Source: Mattson, S. N. ; Jernigan, T. L. ; and Riley, E. P. 1994. MRI and prenatal alcohol exposure: Images provide insight into FAS. Alcohol Health & Research World 18(1): 49– 52.
Alcohol Effects of Corpus Callosum These two images are of the brain of a 9 -year-old girl with FAS. She has agenesis of the corpus callosum, and the large dark area in the back of her brain above the cerebellum is essentially empty space. Source: Mattson, S. N. ; Jernigan, T. L. ; and Riley, E. P. 1994. MRI and prenatal alcohol exposure: Images provide insight into FAS. Alcohol Health & Research World 18(1): 49– 52.
Cerebellum in the Human Brain
Cerebellum • Responsible for: • Integration of neural pathways between cerebellum and cerebral motor cortex – – • Motor skills Balance, coordination Learning in terms of attention and language and music processing Sensory perception/ proprioceptive feedback For individuals with FASDs: – Reductions in cerebellar volume specifically in the anterior vermis. – Reductions are linked to dyslexia – Jacobson et al. , (2008) • Eye blink conditioning is a cerebellular-mediated Pavlovian conditioning paradigm that involves contingent temporal pairing of conditioned stimulus (tone) with an unconditioned stimulus (brief air puff to the eye that elicits a reflexive blink). Children with FASD are impaired in this response indicating that the cerebellum and brain stem areas are highly affected by alcohol prenatally. This procedure could help in diagnosis and treatment intervention.
Frontal Lobes For a good resource on executive functioning is Rasmussen & Bisanz (2009)
Other Anomalies • EEG readings (Kaneko et al. , 1996) – Atypical in approximately 50% of the children and adolescents with FASD – Reductions in the power of the left H alpha frequencies suggesting less mature brain activity. – Prolonged latency in P 300 spikes in parietal cortex suggesting deficits in information processing.
Other Anomalies Continued • Too much grey matter • Not enough white matter • Similar metabolic activity in both hemispheres when it is supposed to be different • Too much blood in the right frontal region which is characteristic of children with executive function problems • Fagerlund, Heikkinen, Autti-Ramo et al. , 2006 – “First evidence for in vivo brain metabolic alterations in a group of adolescents and young adults with FASD. Lower NAA/Cho and NAA/Cr in several anatomical locations from cerebral and cerebellar areas compared with controls. Alterations were seen in frontal and parietal cortices, frontal white matter, corpus callosum, thalamus and cerebellar dentate nucleus. These findings suggest that long standing or permanent biochemical alterations can occur in response to prenatal exposure to alcohol. ” p. 2100
Interventions: What will Help? • Lots of studies on characteristics and brain differences • Not a great deal of rigorous study on effectiveness or efficacy.
Premji et al. , 2006 Only three intervention studies out of ten had the rigor needed required to support efficacy. “Conclusion: There is limited scientific evidence upon which to draw recommendations regarding efficacious interventions for children and youth with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Clinicians, researchers, service providers, educators, policy makers, affected children and youth and their families and others need to urgently collaborate to develop a comprehensive research agenda for this population. ”
Common Cooccurring/Misdiagnoses of FASD • • • • ADD ADHD ODD RAD LD Speech and language delay PDD Developmental Receptive Language Disorder Sensory Integration Dysfunction Conduct Disorder, Seriously Emotionally Disturbed Borderline Personality Disorder Antisocial Personality Disorder Autism, Aspergers
Misdiagnosis • ADHD – Coles et al. , as cited in Lockhart (2001) • Two groups of adolescents (FASD vs. ADHD) • FASD group had intact scores in auditory processing but impaired scores in visual processing adding to the growing evidence that attention problems of individuals with FASDs may be different than those who have ADHD without prenatal alcohol exposure. – Hausknecht et al. , (2006) • Rats exposed prenatally to alcohol have attention deficits similar to children with FASD & ADHD. – Mattson et al. , (2006) • Children with FASDs have pervasive deficits in visual focused attention and deficits in maintaining auditory attention over time but no deficits in the ability to disengage and reengage attention when required to shift attention between visual and auditory stimuli although reaction times to shift were slower.
Misdiagnosis • FASD versus ODD • FASD Versus RAD • FASD Versus Autism Spectrum Disorder
Protective Factors • Stable home • Early diagnosis • No violence against oneself • More than 2. 8 years in each living situation • Recognized disabilities • Diagnosis of FAS • Good quality home from ages 8 to 12 • Basic needs met for at least 3/4 th of the person’s life
Helpful Strategies for Parents • Education that helps parents distinguish between I won’t and I can’t in their children. Parents have to “think younger” • SELF Led Parenting: helping parents to discover their own triggers and then resolving them. • Respite in either direction • Support groups.
Helping a Child with FASD • Graefe (2003): – The 4 S’s + C Structure, Supervision, Simplicity, Steps + Context
Strategies for Children with FASD Working Memory Issues Yellow Stickies. What did Ben do well today? Take a picture of the sand tray. Bilateral Stimulation to keep something in memory. IEP at school to accommodate this as a brain based issue due to permanent impairment from fetal alcohol exposure. External memory reminders
Example: External Memory Reminders Step Activity 1 Rise and shine when Daddy V. wakes you up with a hug!! 2 Go to the bathroom, wash your face and hands and brush your teeth …. thank you very much!!! 3 Put on your clothes, socks, and sneakers left out the night before… 4 Make your bed 5 Put PJs in the hamper 6 Get back pack and come to kitchen for good eats made by Mommy J. who loves you soooo much!! 7 Hand over this checklist for points!!! Picture Cue Check off when done
Chore Check List Example Step 1. Take Endust, spray it on a rag and wipe off all tables, shelves, items on tables and shelves and picture frames. 2. Put the old newspapers in a plastic bag and place in the recyclable container. 3. Take paper towels and Windex and clean all the windows. 4. Use the sweeper to vacuum the entire rug. 5. Use the broom and the dust pan to sweep all the dust, dirt and dog hair off the steps. 6. Put all cleaning supplies, brooms and vacuum away. 7. Recheck to make sure that you have done everything on this list in the best way possible. 8. Once all the items are checked in hand this in for points!!
Strategies for Helping Children with FASD Problems with Cause and Effect Let natural consequences happen as long as they are not dangerous or deadly. Writing for Greater Self Knowledge Exercise Sheets Choices Have Consequences EMDR protocol
More Strategies • Behavioral offenses – ALWAYS have the child make amends in a concrete physical way. – Teach for habituation rather then understanding • Time management – Describe time in TV episodes • Affect Regulation – – – Resource development with bilateral stimulation Deep breathing and body signal awareness Mindfulness techniques Drumming Self calming or self soothing strategies Find a nook or cranny for the child to “tuck in”. • For motor coordination and self-esteem – Feather exercise
Resources • SAMHSA FASD Center for Excellence: fasdcenter. samhsa. gov • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention FAS Prevention Team: www. cdc. gov/ncbddd/fas • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): www. niaaa. nih. gov/ • National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS): www. nofas. org • National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information: ncadi. samhsa. gov • Diagnostic Guide for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: The 4 -Digit Diagnostic Code: Third Edition (2004) • http: //depts. washington. edu/fasdpn • These sites link to many other Web sites.
The Afternoon Session Slides from this one forward are for the afternoon presentation. 67
Professional Therapeutic Interventions Introductory Comments Lockhart (2001) • Identification is a core issue as individuals with FASDs look like they have many other types of disorders & medication as well as psychotherapy interventions may not be successful with them. • Teasing out what is an organically based disability and not willful disobedience or other motivation from behavior that is willful is essential. • Multilevel approach that includes: psychopharmacological treatment, behavior therapy, proper educational placement, speech and language services, occupational therapy, direct advocacy (with a personal 1 to 1 aide), parent education and support, social services, and vocational services Green et al. (2009) • Canadian study using the Cambridge Neuropsychological test Automated Battery were able to adequately distinguish children with FASDs regardless of craniofacial dysmorphology and measures of children with FAS with dysmorphology did not differ from children with FASDs without the dysmorphology. 68
Professional Therapeutic Interventions Continued Medication Issues • Frankel, Paley, Marquardt & O’Connor (2006) – Type of medication affected outcome in Child Friendship Training for children with FASDs. – Children with FASDs on prescribed neuroleptic medications (risperdone, olanzapine) showed better outcomes from CFT then children with FASDs on stimulant medication (amphetamine salts, methylphenidate, dextroamphentamine). • Doig, Mc. Lennan & Gibbard (2008) – Evaluated the change in core ADHD symptom clusters following treatment with ADHD medications in a group of children with FASD. – Children with dual FASD-ADHD diagnosis may display more difficulties with inattention than other ADHD related symptoms. – ADHD medication may be less able to normalize the inattention symptom cluster in children with FASD-ADHD. – Are the ADHD symptoms manifested in this group of children a function of alcohol exposure versus other factors that lead to ADHD? 69
Professional Therapeutic Interventions Continued Empirically Supported Strategies • Roebuck-Spencer & Mattson (2004) – CVLT-C Versus VL-WRMAL – CVLT-C=Implicit Learning Strategy – The strategy is “Semantic Clustering” – When children with a FASD had IQ> 80 and they used Semantic Clustering, their retention scores were the same as children in the healthy control group. – The researchers suggest that for children who have FASDs “that to ensure optimal learning, it is important to provide opportunities for semantic clustering (or other relevant leaning strategies) and provide enough trials so that children have an opportunity to rehearse newly learned information after having reached their learning plateau. ” p 1430 70
Professional Therapeutic Interventions Continued Kalberg & Buckley (2007) • Good information on structuring the environment in the school, home and community settings • Cognitive Control Therapy 71
Professional Therapeutic Interventions Continued Bertrand (2009) • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided federal grant money. • Findings of five innovative research projects exploring interventions for children with FASDs • Objectives of each intervention was to improve the developmental outcomes of individuals with FASD, reduce secondary conditions and improve the lives of families affected by FASDs. • Grantees had to incorporate three common components in the intervention trials: 1. had to target a specific area of deficit or risk among the targeted population; 2. provide children in both treatment and control groups with multidisciplinary assessments that guided referrals for standard care; 3. incorporate specific instruction and training for parents and caregivers regarding basic information about FASDs, advocacy skills and caregiver support. 72
Professional Therapeutic Interventions Continued Bertrand, 2009 continued Study 1: Project Bruin Buddies: A social skills training program to improve peer friendships for children with FASDs (University of California at Los Angeles) – Examined the effect of parent-assisted Children’s Friendship Training (CFT) – Parents were facilitators of the children’s social skills performance. They also took part in educational, support and training groups. – Program was adapted for the neurocognitive deficits common to children with FASDs – Skills taught were: 1. social network formation with the aide of the parent; 2. informational interchange with peers leading to common-ground activity; 3. entry into a group of children already in play; 4. in-home play dates; 5. conflict avoidance and negotiation. – Skills were taught didactically through instruction on simple rules of social behavior; modeling, rehearsal and performance feedback during treatment sessions; rehearsal at home; homework assignments; and coaching by parents during play between children. – Social skills of the children were significantly increased, behavioral problems were significantly decreased and the positive outcomes continued to be robust at the three month post test measure. Parent knowledge regarding FASDs and parent satisfaction with their children and the program increased. 73
Child Friendship Training O’Connor, Frankel, Paley et al. , (2006) Description of Child and Parent Treatment Sessions Session Child Group Topic Parent Group Topic 1 Rules of the group; elements of good communication Goals and methods of treatment; limitations of intervention: what not to expect 2 Having a conversation 3 Joining a group of children already at play: “slipping in” Supporting child friendships 4 Joining a group of children already at play: “slipping in” 5 How to be a good sport Joining a group of children already at play: “slipping in” 6 How to be a good sport Appropriate games for play dates 7 Rules of being a good host Play dates 8 How to handle teasing 9 Unjustified accusations How to handle adult complaints about child’s behavior 10 How to be a good winner 11 Bullies and conflict situations 12 Graduation 74
Child Friendship Training Schonfeld, Paley, Frankel and O’Connor (2009) • Behavioral regulation predicted the effectiveness of CFT for children with FASDs regardless of general intellectual functioning. • The ability to control impulses, solve problems flexibly and monitor emotional responses significantly predicted improvement in social skills and reduction in problem behaviors following CFT. 75
Professional Therapeutic Interventions Continued Bertrand, 2009 continued Study 2: Georgia-Sociocognitive habilitation using math interactive learning experience (MILE) program (Marcus Institute) – Focused on mathematical functioning – Developed and adapted learning strategies to compensate for core alcohol related neurodevelopmental deficits to facilitate the math learning – Included intensive short term individual instruction of each child as well as for the child’s teacher and caregiver. Teachers and caregivers were also educated about FASDs. – Found to have positive long term consequences on academic achievement and educational attainment among high-risk children and to be beneficial in cognitive rehabilitation programs for children with acquired brain damage. Authors credited the improved global measure of behavior in the children to the training and support groups they conducted with the caregivers 76
Professional Therapeutic Interventions Continued Bertrand, 2009 continued Study 3: Neurocongnitive habilitation for children with FASDs (Children’s Research Triangle) – Specifically aimed at developing and evaluating a program of neurocognitive habilitation for children who had been in foster care or who had been adopted and who had a diagnosis of an FASD. – The researchers noted that the very factors that Streissguth et al. , and others have identified as protective of children with FASDs in developing secondary disabilities are the one that children in the child welfare system lack such as being raised in a stable and nurturing home, a diagnosis prior to age 6, having no sexual or physical abuse history, not changing households ever few years, not living in a poor quality home, receiving early intervention. – Provided education and support to enhance the families’ capabilities to care for their children and focused on improvement of the child’s executive functioning. They taught the children selfregulation skills, EF skills, memory skills, cause and effect reasoning, sequencing, planning and problem solving. – They used the Alert Program (Williams & Shellenberger, 1996). (The brain is like a car engine and can make the body run in high, low or the just right gear…etc. ) – Children learned speed identification skills, strategies to change gear and speed, sensory motor monitoring skills and regulation of state of arousal. – Results of numerous measures indicated that children in the treatment group improved significantly in executive functioning skills and overall regulation ability and also exhibited an increased ability to tell more robust and healthy stories in a projective storytelling test. Researchers reasoned that this was due to the emphasis in the program of teaching children cause and effect thinking and sequencing. 77
Professional Therapeutic Interventions Continued Bertrand, 2009 Continued Study 4: Parent-Child Interaction Therapy: Application of an evidence-based treatment to reduce behavior problems among children with FASDs (University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center) – Aim of the study was to evaluate two group based interventions for children with FASDs that would reduce behavior problems and decrease parental stress. – Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) versus Parent Only Parenting Support & Management (PSM). – Both PCIT and PSM resulted in positive improvements in the families in the study but more parents were satisfied with the PCIT treatment than PSM. 78
Professional Therapeutic Interventions Continued Bertrand, 2009 Continued Study 5: Families Moving Forward (FMF): A behavioral consultation intervention to improve outcomes for families raising children with FASDs (University of Washington) – The goal was to evaluate an intervention designed to improve caregiver self efficacy, meet family needs and reduce child problem behaviors. – Compared the FMF program to community standard care – Focuses on parenting attitudes and parenting responses toward their child’s problem behaviors. – Central focus is the teaching of caregivers the skills of “parent-friendly” positive behavior support approaches. – Teaches parents antecedent-based behavior strategies, advocacy skills and ways to develop “accommodations” for the child in the home and school environments. – Helps parents change their attitudes and cognitions most centrally about their understanding of the child’s behavior (it’s about brain damage not willful disobedience etc. ” – Ongoing data collection and evaluation indicate that FMF is a low cost feasible intervention that assists parents of children with FASDs in developing more positive parenting strategies as well as more positive attitudes toward their children which then leads to better behavioral and emotional outcomes for the children. 79
The Common Basic Ingredients 1. Parent education, training and support 2. Explicit instruction of the children. 3. Individualized and targeted interventions can be implemented within current community services. 80
Parental Involvement • Paley et al. , 2006 – Study on the effects of raising a child with FASDs on the parent – Parents get stressed out because: • Problems of the child • Ineffective interventions • Anxiety about the well being and eventual independence of the child • Adoptive parents felt more stressed than biological parents • Parents also feel more stressed when they have not had resolution in their own trauma experiences 81
What we see working in State College • Neurofeedback • EMDR • Parts Work/ IFS for the children and the parents – Clips of parts work with B. 82
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