Intervention Research    

The FAS DPN is currently funded by the CDC to evaluate the effectiveness of two interventions targeted to children with the full spectrum of disorders associated with prenatal alcohol exposure, and their families.

Susan J. Astley, Ph.D., Professor of Epidemiology
Heather Carmichael Olson, Ph.D., Child-Clinical Pscyhologist
Lesley Olswang, Ph.D., Professor of Speech and Hearing Sciences
Truman Coggins, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Speech and Hearing Sciences.
Tracy Jirikowic, Ph.D., O.T.R./L., Occupational Therapist
Allison Brooks, Ph.D., School Psychologist
Julie Gelo, Family Advocate/Resource Advisor
Beth Gendler, M.S.W., Social Worker

School-aged children with FAS/ARND are an essential group to target when building empirically-based intervention models. The age range of 5 to 11 years is a period when a large group of children with FAS/ARND can be identified, and there are pressing clinical needs. In these school years, alcohol-affected children's deficits in areas such as executive functioning and behavioral regulation, memory, and social communication are clearly emerging and beginning to negatively impact their adaptive function and life success. These are the years when behavior problems - and especially difficulties with peers and disruptive behavior- are widely reported among children with FAS/ARND by their parents and teachers. These caregivers struggle to understand the children's challenging, maladaptive, or atypical behavior, and apply treatment techniques that do not always yield expected success. In these years, when home and school are a child's main life settings and developmental outcomes can be meaningfully improved, parents and teachers need access to effective interventions. These can either be multimodal interventions providing caregiver support, education, assistance with advocacy, and access to a menu of services such as behavioral consultation- or high-yield, single-modality treatments that target critical domains of deficit shown by children with FAS/ARND.

The current proposal responds to this important clinical need by refining and testing two promising intervention models for school-aged children with FAS/ARND that are built on published "clinical wisdom," nine years of FAS diagnostic clinic experience, pilot intervention studies, and selected empirically-supported child treatment techniques: (1) The Families Moving Forward Project: An individualized, supportive, behavioral consultation intervention for parents and school staff of children with FAS/ARND; and (2) Social Communication Intervention: A school-based social communication intervention provided directly to children with FAS/ARND that targets critical deficits in social communication and peer relations. These interventions will be assessed through two randomized control trials on a total of 128 children with FAS/ARND.


Additional information related to the Families Moving Forward Project.