ABCD Steps to Effective Planning for FASD

© 2003 Teresa Kellerman


Assess the Situation:

            Assess the abilities and deficits of the affected individual

                        IQ test: Woodcock Johnson shows multiple subscores in areas of processing

                        OT test for Sensory Integration Disorder

                        Speech Pathologist test for Central Auditory Processing Disorder

                        Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales shows functional ability far below IQ

                        Mental Health assessment for possible co-occurring disorders

                        Identify talents and gifts as well as areas of deficit

            Assess the family

                        Parent version of the Vineland test will reveal concerns about family issues

                        Recognize that parenting skills are usually better than what behavior might reflect

                        Document alcohol exposure during pregnancy for diagnostic purposes

                        Validate family’s wisdom, creative problem solving, protectiveness

            Assess the services currently provided

                        Reasonable expectations that match the assessed level of function

                        Provide safe environment 24/7

                        Level of information on FASD and understanding by all involved persons


Be Aware of Concerns:

            Individual’s wants, needs, fears, level of acceptance

            Social/sexual vulnerability, stunted social development of individual

            Family’s stress factors, source of respite, ability to provide supervision, acceptance

            School’s ability to provide appropriate education in safe environment by trained staff

            Medical providers’ ability to prescribe appropriate treatment

            Social service systems’ ability to provide comprehensive plan of care

            Complex array of factors that impact ability to succeed (diet, trauma, meds, environment)


Coordinate Resources:

            Eligibility for DD services, SSI, Mental Health services

            Eligibility for special education, IEP (Other Health Impaired)

            Health/Wellness court (drug court, family court, alternate treatment program)

            Availability of local support groups, or peer contact information

            Apply DSM-IV Code # 760.71 for FAS, FAE when alcohol exposure is documented

            Apply DSM-IV Code # 348.3 for static encephalopathy (unchanging brain damage)

            Community groups, such as church, YMCA, tribal elders

            Coordinate team for Person Centered Plan


Disseminate Information:

            Educate the individual about FASD disability issues, encourage acceptance

            Educate the family about FASD disability issues, encourage acceptance

            Educate all professionals and service providers about FASD issues

            Online articles, books, brochures, handouts:

            Online support mail lists for all parties:

            Workshops and presentations: or


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