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O’Malley on a Management Plan for FASD

January 23, 2012

Before I return Kieran O’Malley’s ADHD in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder to the library this afternoon, I want to give one more shout-out: this time for Chapter 11, “Multi-Modal Management Strategies Through the Lifespan,” his overview, with commentary, on each of the management/treatment strategies families often employ in differing combinations and at different times in the life of a child who has FASD.

Chapter 11 covers:

  • Individual Therapy
  • Special Education
  • Speech and Language Assessment and Therapy
  • Medication Therapy
  • Sex Education
  • Dental Care
  • Parent/Child Relationship
  • Family Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Advocacy
  • Therapist Support in Therapy
  • Housing

Several of these topics (Speech and Language; Medication; Sex Ed) are expanded in chapters earlier in the book.

This chapter is helpful not only for raising these subjects, but in helping parents weed through the options. For example, O’Malley overviews the major philosophies of traditional psychotherapy and suggests which forms work better for kids with specific strengths and deficits. Beyond discussing ADHD meds, he also presents a list of other medications commonly used in other disorders like anxiety and depression and discusses why they may be counter-indicated in kids with prenatal exposure.

Despite his disclaimer in the Introduction that it is not an academic book, the language is more academic than much of the literature collected on the Internet. That may be good or bad depending upon what you are looking for.

In the past year, I’ve encountered several highly educated professionals who did not seem to want to engage with me as an educated expert in my own child and offered really off-the-wall advice from their position as an “expert.” In defense, I try to keep up with the literature they read so I can respond in kind.

There are already so many ups and downs in FASD that as a parent, I really appreciate information that yields high return for the time invested and helps me cut through the fog of options and better understand my child. O’Malley’s book has helped me do that, and in that spirit, I commend it to you.

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