Management Strategies: School Age, 6-12 Years
Some individuals may have more subtle neurodevelopmental deficits that can be overlooked until they are in school and begin having difficulty, when they are expected to learn by integrating information from a wide knowledge base and by generalizing from one learning situation to another. School-based services are important for many individuals with FASDs, especially those with learning disabilities, ADHD, or executive functioning deficits that create problems in their ability to function appropriately in the classroom setting. Many of these individuals may be mislabeled as defiant or lazy.
Parents of children with FASDs often recognize these learning difficulties but need help presenting the issues to school authorities. Those who treat or provide case management services for individuals with FASDs may need to make referrals for evaluations in order to assist in the attainment of appropriate educational interventions or accommodations. Such interventions and accommodations can be paramount in preventing a child with FASDs from dropping out of school, an all too common outcome for many students with FASD. These interventions may also have a significant impact in preserving the child's and the family's psychosocial and emotional health, by minimizing frustration over unrealistic learning expectations.
There are research-based interventions for children with FASDs focused on social skills and parent training. Researchers have found that children with FASDs who had a 12-week children friendship training group showed significant improvement in their knowledge of appropriate social behavior when compared with children in the control group (O'Connor et al., 2007).