Neurocognitive Habilitation Therapy for Children With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: An Adaptation of the Alert Program®

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Abstract

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.

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