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What health professionals can do

After the assessment process and the diagnosis has beeen discussed with the person with FASD (where relevant) and the parents/carers, it is critical that a mangement plan which incorporates their goals be developed. This should include referrals, management strategies and review dates.

Develop a management plan

After making a FASD diagnosis, a management plan should be developed which addresses the wide range of supports children and young people living with FASD, and their carers and families, may require to optimise their wellbeing and functioning.

When developing a FASD management plan it is helpful to:

  • engage parents/caregivers and their children in planning appropriate supports and interventions
  • identify parent, family, caregiver networks and how these may be accessed in the community – e.g. local play groups, local youth groups, sports teams
  • provide information about FASD support organisations
“Understanding is probably the most important thing following a FASD diagnosis. Understanding what the child’s specific needs and challenges are really what helps.” Health professional

It is also important to consider the following when developing a management plan:

  • child/young person’s strengths and interests
  • functional impairments identified in assessments
  • child/young person’s positive attitudes
  • willingness to participate in family activities and household routines
  • strong engagement with their families
  • willingness to seek and receive help
“We try to focus in the plan on the parent’s initial concerns. Look at what the strengths are – when we do the assessments – that’s important too.” Health professional

Discuss the management plan with the person and their family

  • Discuss recommendations for therapy, including options and timelines.
  • Discuss need for medical review and referrals, including the referral process and potential waiting times.
  • Discuss information sharing with school, including what information is important to share, who will share it, and obtain parental or caregiver consent to share information if required.
  • Provide parent/caregiver with a copy of the management plan.

Work with families

A health professional should work with parents/carers and families to:

  • promote secure attachment between them and the children or young people in their care
  • establish predictable home and parenting environment and routines  

A stable home environment in middle childhood reduces the risk of adverse life outcomes or secondary effects by two to four times, in combination with environmental supports.

“Often professionals are working with children who have significant behavioural issues and they are employing all of the kind of basic behaviour-based interventions that we know are usually not effective for FASD.” Quote from health Professional

Provide effective and coordinated interventions

It is important for health professionals to:

  • maintain a coordinated and collaborative approach between, family, school, vocational, work and community and support services and therapists to ensure consistency in the individual’s environment
  • integrate interventions into existing local services (e.g. local early childhood intervention services, school based education services) and everyday environments

Children with FASD often access and require support in several environments across multiple systems of care. A coordinated, multidisciplinary and multisystem approach should be maintained.

It is critical for health professionals to facilitate communication:

  • between the family and all professionals involved in the child or young person’s care, and
  • across care systems

Managing FASD

Insights and tips from health professionals and parents and carers about approaches to managing FASD.

Information and resources related to health professionals managing FASD

NOFASD Australia

Read more about NOFASD Australia and their work

Australian FASD Support Groups

Find out more about Australian FASD Support Groups

Australian Guide to the diagnosis of FASD

FASD Management Plan Form - can be used to develop a plan to address specific domains of neurodevelopment

Video

Story of alcohol use in pregnancy and FASD

This video discusses understanding FASD, diagnosis and management

Page last updated 19 September 2017