Training and Information for Mental Health Professionals
The following links will create a brief informational packet of documents for you to print or download and give to a mental health treatment provider who has encountered or may encounter a child or adult with an FASD.
- Cover Page
- Differences Between FASD & Autism
- Understanding Behaviors of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)
- Overlapping Behavioral Characteristics & Related Mental Health Diagnoses in Children
- How Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Co-Occur With Mental Illness
Spend 2 hours reading and viewing the resources on this page. Then take a short quiz and obtain your certificate. Coming soon!!
Mental health providers are likely to encounter individuals with FASD in their practice whether they are counselors, therapists, psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, or behavioral therapists. Clients with an FASD are frequently diagnosed with multiple mental health diagnoses such as ADHD, Autism, ODD, and OCD and the traditional treatments for these conditions rarely work well for them, leading to treatment failures. It is important to identify whether an FASD may underlie and be co-occurring with mental health issues so that more effective treatment can be offered that will take the special needs of an individual with FASD into account.
- People with FASD are often unsuccessful in traditional treatment programs
- Mental and behavioral health treatment providers must understand the characteristics and needs of people with FASD in order to provide effective treatment
- The following may interfere with treatment
- Difficulty understanding the “purpose” of therapy
- Memory – knew it yesterday, forgot it today
- Missed appointments due to memory issues
- Slower processing, especially with verbal information
- Difficulty in groups – may become bored, overwhelmed, fail to process information or to be unable to respond when put on the spot
- Concrete and immediate minds may not grasp abstract concepts such as “responsibility”, “truth”
- Inability to make plans, set goals for treatment
- Inability to report internal experiences or changes over time
- Limited cognitive processing of awareness of “thoughts”
- May become focused on concrete meaning of words or processes
Resources for Understanding and Adapting Therapy for people with FASD
- FASD: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: A Review for Mental Health Professionals
- Overview of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders for Mental Health Professionals
- Tailoring Treatment for Individuals with an FASD – (see Chap 2.4, p. 54)
- How Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders can Co-occur with Mental Illness
- Making your program more accessible for people with disabilities
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Neuropsychological and Behavioral Features
- Psychotropic Medication Algorithm for FASD/Prenatal Alcohol Exposure – When considering psychotropic medication for a patient with FASD or prenatal alcohol exposure, please consult this psychotropic medication algorithm for individuals diagnosed with FASD or with prenatal alcohol exposure.
- Short videos from Dan Dubovsky