Children suffering from a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) face many challenges due to their condition, so it’s essential for caregivers to take advantage of different types of counseling therapy to improve their long-term quality of life. There are a wide range of behavioral, physical and developmental issues associated with the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. While some of these problems are essentially permanent, some of the social and academic issues can be mitigated through counseling sessions and other treatment programs.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Many kids with a FASD struggle to form relationships and integrate with peers socially, which can lead to self-perpetuating isolation. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a form of psychological therapy that focuses on helping patients achieve awareness and control over their own mental and emotional state. These sessions provide a structured environment where children can explore their feelings and thoughts, allowing them to understand the workings of their own mind. It also allows them to learn techniques for managing behavioral and emotional issues on their own as the situation demands.
Family and Parental Counseling
There is no doubt that support from caregivers and other family members is essential for the well-being of a child with a FASD. Unfortunately, many such parents and guardians have a hard time understanding the special needs of the child. Family and parental counseling sessions give caregivers an opportunity to learn how they can better manage the symptoms of the child’s condition and form a meaningful relationship with them despite the difficulties. There are many resources for parents and caregivers available, including local organizations and state-sponsored outreach programs like Families Moving Forward (FMF).
Educational Support and Special Services
Difficulty with math and language skills are a common symptom of FASDs, so children with the condition often have special educational needs. Academic intervention and special programs may put an extra burden on the family schedule, but they can provide meaningful long-term results. Language and literacy training is particularly important, since reading is a gateway for learning other subjects and is necessary for good academic performance. Tutoring sessions and supplementary courses can enrich the life of children, supporting their efforts in school and offering a source of new social opportunities.
Expressive and Emotional Guidance
There are also many types of alternative counseling and creative treatments that have tangible benefits for kids with a FASD. Guided meditation and relaxation exercises can help kids develop better control over their mental state and are particularly useful for dealing with anxiety. Some caregivers also pursue non-traditional therapies in their search for solutions, including yoga, acupuncture and massage techniques. Interaction with therapy animals can also have benefits for young victims of FASD.
Fetal alcohol syndrome and other FASDs are completely preventable health issues that have life-long consequences for the victims. While some of the complications from these conditions are difficult or impossible to treat, many of these symptoms can be managed with proper care and dedication. There are many forms of counseling therapy that are beneficial for children with a FASD, so parents and caregivers are encouraged to take advantage of these treatments and programs to help children overcome the obstacles that lay before them.