You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2012.

Don’t forget to check out this month’s FASD Learning Series webcast: Cognitive Interventions to Improve Language Skills” Jan 25, 2012. 9-11 AM.

Topics to be discussed:

  • Research on FASD language interventions
  • Language interventions in other clinical populations, and their implications for FASD
  • Specific intervention strategies
  • Evidence based practice
  • Application of research

Register now to attend the FREE live webcast.

Check out the FASD Learning Series page on the Government of Alberta’s website to watch videos of past presentations and check for upcoming webcasts.


The American Journal  of Occupational Therapy recently published an article on FASD entitled Neurocognitive Habilitation Therapy for Children With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: An Adaptation of the Alert Program by Wells et. al.

The authors carried out a neurocognitive habilitation group therapy with the goal of  increasing self-regulation in kids with FASD. The therapy consisted of a 12 week program using techniques adapted from the Alert Program, in which children learn to identify their state of regulation by recognizing when they are over-aroused (their engine is running “too high”), under-aroused (their engine is running “too low”), or at an optimal state of alertness (their engine is running “just right”). The program incorporated a family/caregiver education component, traumatic brain injury treatment strategies, and self-regulation strategies for the child based on their arousal level and situational factors.

Difficulties with self-regulation tie into executive function (higher level cognitive functions, such as inhibition, problem solving, attention, planning, etc) which is a common area of impairment in individuals with FASD. The overall goal of the study was to “improve executive functioning skills and emotional regulation related to the children’s home and school environment”. The Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), a parent questionnaire, was used to measure executive function behaviours, and the Roberts Apperception Test for Children (RATC) was used to measure the child’s problem solving skills by assessing the child’s interpretation of common interpersonal situations.

Both measures showed significant improvements in the group of children who received the intervention over those who did not reveal the intervention. This could indicate that neurocognitive habilitation therapy can improve executive functioning and emotional problem solving skills in children with FASD. This finding is particularly valuable because the intervention was performed in a group setting, which is much more akin to real life than a clinical one-on-one setting. The child’s home and school environments generally contain many other people, with numerous stimuli and distractions. The neurocognitive habilitation program creates a group setting and teaches children to get in touch with internal indicators of dysregulation in order to manage their emotional regulation in the presence of external stimuli and distractions.

Read the full article here.

Telegraph Journal, an online media source from New Brunswick, recently published an article about the New Brunswick Adoption Foundation’s “Peer-to-Peer Adoption Support Network”.

The article speaks to some of the challenges involved in adopting a child, and more specifically, a child who has come out of the foster care system. As most of our readers already know, many individuals with FASD end up in foster and adoptive families.

Research has shown that raising a child with FASD can have a significant impact on the family. Also, as the article states, parents can be the biggest advocate for their children; especially a child with special needs. The difficulties of raising a child with FASD, compounded by the stresses involved with adoption and the need to create a stable supportive home environment, can create a huge need for support in adoptive families.

The “Peer-to-Peer Adoption Support Network” in New Brunswick is here to help! The support network is geared toward those who have adopted children out of foster care. A network of volunteers connects adoptive families with resources and other families who have been through the same process. The support network is in an 18 month pilot project phase in 3 counties in New Brunswick, with hopes of expansion.

The Telegraph Journal has recently changed its article access to subscription only, but you can read the full article on “fasdnews” through Yahoo! Groups.

Don’t live in New Brunswick? Check out “Canada Adopts” for other adoptive and foster parent support groups in Canada.


Morrissette, P. J. (2001). Fetal alcohol syndrome: parental experiences and the role of family counsellors. The Qualitative Report, 6 (2). Retrieved from

Olson, H. C., Oti, R. Gelo J. & Beck, S. (2009). “Family matters:” fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and the family. Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 15(3), 235-49.

Original article source:

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