Intervention and Support
Effective intervention and support for FASD is important. It informs understanding, ensures appropriate support, and provides individuals affected by FASD with the opportunity to succeed. Appropriate intervention also decreases parent/carer stress, decreases behavioural problems and mitigates the risk of the person developing secondary disabilities such as mental health concerns, disengagement with education, and involvement in the Justice system. Effective intervention benefits the individual, their family, and the community.
Dr Bagley works with families throughout Australia and New Zealand in person, over telephone and via internet by providing:
- Family counselling
- Education and parenting support
- Child, adolescent and adult counselling
- FASD behaviour support and management
- The Families Moving Forward Program
Dr Bagley also provides consultancy and supervision to professionals working with individuals and families affected by FASD.
A key challenge for professionals and parents when responding to FASD is that many standard parenting and professional intervention approaches are ineffective for people with FASD. This is because standard approaches often employ behaviour-based and learning-based techniques that require cognitive abilities and skills in the very same areas that people with FASD have challenges. Interventions that focus on behavioural symptoms but do not consider underlying brain impairment can increase the persons experience of frustration and failure, and can escalate behaviour problems.
Dr Bagley employs a Neurobehavioral approach to practice. This approach considers neurodevelopmental functioning across a range of brain domains and seeks to understand how the individual's brain works, and how that affects the way the person functions in the world. Dr Bagley then develops tailored interventions which consider the individual's needs, learning style, challenges, and strengths, as well as environmental accommodations needed to prevent the development or escalation of behavioural problems and other difficulties. This approach is relevant to other neurodevelopmental and neurobehavioral conditions including ADHD. The Neurobehavioral approach is most effective when all professionals working with an individual or their family have a shared understanding of brain based approaches to intervention and support.
The Families Moving Forward Program
The Families Moving Forward Program is an evidence based FASD intervention and support program which helps children with Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), their families and the professionals who care for them. It is a positive parenting program designed for children from ages 3 to 13 (approximately).
Some of the aims of the Families Moving Forward Program:
- Support parents and help them better understand their children who are affected by prenatal alcohol
- Give parents new skills and strategies to use when caring for their children with FASD
- Enable teachers and health care providers, as well as family members, to recognize the signs of FASD
- Train health care providers in evidence-based services they can offer to families with alcohol-affected children
- Encourage family progress in a positive direction
- Restore hope and optimism to families caring for children with FASD
- Reduce the chance that children affected by prenatal alcohol will have secondary disabilities later in life
Kerryn Bagley is currently the only person providing this program in Australia. The program can be completed in person or via Skype. For further information about Families Moving Forward please contact Kerryn Bagley or refer to the the Families Moving Forward website: http://depts.washington.edu/fmffasd/FMF-FASD-Intervention
No blame, no shame
Working with FASD requires a no blame, no shame approach to practice. FASD is a community issue. Most people in Australia and New Zealand consume alcohol. Alcohol causes FASD, not women, and we are all responsible for raising awareness. Dr Bagley recognises that birth mothers, fathers and other parents and guardians of individuals of FASD have been the leading drivers and advocates for support and awareness in Australia. She values their voices, energy and role in helping to educate the broader community and the professional sector about this life long condition.