Anne M. Wells, Ira J. Chasnoff, Christine A. Schmidt, Erin Telford, Linda D. Schwartz; Neurocognitive Habilitation Therapy for Children With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: An Adaptation of the Alert Program®. Am J Occup Ther 2012;66(1):24-34. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2012.002691.
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OBJECTIVE. This study evaluated the effectiveness of neurocognitive habilitation, a group therapy intervention for foster and adoptive caregivers and their children who were prenatally exposed to alcohol.
METHOD. Participants were recruited from clients seeking evaluation for fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND) and were randomly assigned to treatment and no-treatment control groups. Forty children participated in the treatment program and were compared with 38 control participants using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and the Roberts Apperception Test for Children (RATC).
RESULTS. Significant differences between the treatment and control groups were demonstrated on the BRIEF and on the RATC, suggesting that the intervention improved executive functioning and emotional problem-solving skills.
CONCLUSION. These findings yield promising evidence of the effectiveness of the neurocognitive habilitation intervention in improving executive functioning and emotional problem solving in children with FAS or ARND.
Growth retardation: Current or past weight or height less than the 3rd percentile, adjusted for age and gender
Facial dysmorphology: Abnormal measurements of the upper lip (Rank 4 or 5) and the philtrum (Rank 4 or 5) and shortened palpebral fissures according to analysis of facial features using a lip-philtrum guide and digital facial photograph criteria of Astley and Clarren (2000, 2001)
CNS abnormalities: Demonstration of structural, neurological, or functional CNS deficits as documented by the presence of microcephaly (current head circumference below 3rd percentile for age and gender) or functional deficits demonstrated as global cognitive delays with performance below the 3rd percentile on standardized testing, or three or more domains of neurodevelopmental functioning more than 2 standard deviations below the normed mean on standardized measures of cognitive, executive, memory, adaptive, motor, attentional, social skills, or sensory functioning.
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