Early intervention, appropriate support and management have been identified as factors that lead to better outcomes for children with FASD and their families.
Evidence-based interventions are therapies that have been shown through scientific studies, to consistently improve outcomes. The overseas experience tells us that children with FASD benefit from early intervention, but there are currently very few evidenced-based interventions and very few therapists currently using those that are.
A list of evidence-based therapies can be found here: Evidence-based interventions
Services for Supporting Children or Adults who have FASD
There are many types of practical services that might help your child living with FASD. These can include occupational therapy, speech therapy and physiotherapy. Every child with FASD is different so if your child has a diagnosis, the health professional you consulted will help you work out which of these services may be necessary to best meet the needs of your child.
Occupational therapists support children and young people to develop their fine and gross motor skills, cognitive skills, social skills and independent living skills in order to increase success in their daily lives. They can also provide strategies that can help with sensory processing issues.
Speech therapists can support children with their speech development, receptive and expressive language development and visual resources and communication programs for children who are non-verbal or developing language.
Physiotherapists can provide treatment designed to enable children to achieve their own level of functional motor skills like sitting or standing. Toys, games and specialised equipment are used to encourage the development of the child’s motor skills, in conjunction with specific handling skills. The physiotherapy program becomes part of the child’s activities during the day, as parents are shown the best way to assist their child during day to daycare and play.
Other Parents and Carers
Raising a young person with FASD can at times be isolating. You are not alone. Please call NOFASD’s hotline on 1800 860 613 if you wish to talk to someone about your experience and receive support.
In November 2018 a panel of parents and carers spoke about their experiences raising children with FASD. Watch a recording of this session below.
These strategies are based on the knowledge accumulated over many years from the collective wisdom of parents, carers and service providers
The following fact sheets provide information on common FASD behaviours and consequences. We have included a range of strategies and environmental accommodations that may help to improve quality of life outcomes.
Foster Parent’s Guide to FASD (Dr Sara McLean- Australian publication)
I am a Caregiver of a person with FASD – this is an excellent parenting resource from the Canada FASD Research Network
Who has to change? Trying their hardest, doing their best! – What it is like to live with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Strategies not Solutions: A resource developed to educate caregivers and the community in managing the behaviours associated with FASD throughout the lifespan. The project relied heavily upon caregivers and professionals who provided information, advice, and feedback.
Eight magic keys of success – nine short videos.
What Lies Beneath! Clinical Psychologist Dr Vanessa Spiller has developed a resource to help better understand the brain areas impacted in young people with FASD compared to many other brain-related conditions.
Fred’s Story In this video international expert Diane Malbin, explains why we need to think differently and try to prevent unwanted behaviour before it happens. This video complements Diane’s book “Trying Differently Rather than Harder” available from her website or from Amazon
Knowing right from wrong Child version– Clinical Psychologist Dr Vanessa Spiller has developed a resource for parents and caregivers of children living with FASD on why knowing right from wrong is not enough to prevent people with severe impairments (such as FASD), in multiple brain areas from doing the ‘wrong thing’ (and why they shouldn’t be punished for having impairments)!
Misuse of the Internet
In this video, Dr. Ira J. Chasnoff explains how changes in the brain due to prenatal alcohol exposure contributes to this increased risk and what parents need to know.