Aamena Kapasi, Jacqueline Pei, Kathryn Kryska, Vannesa Joly, Kamaldeep Gill, Sandra Thompson-Hodgetts, Kaitlyn McLachlan, Gail Andrew & Carmen Rasmussen (2021) Exploring Self-Regulation Strategy Use in Adolescents with FASD, Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, & Early Intervention, 14:2, 184-206, DOI: 10.1080/19411243.2020.1822260
Adolescents with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) experience a range of cognitive, behavioral, and physical difficulties, including difficulties with self-regulation. We investigated self-regulation strategy use in adolescents with FASD who completed a self-regulation intervention program.
The intervention was an adapted version of the Alert Program®, and it was delivered in hospital settings in two Canadian cities. We explored the types of strategies chosen by adolescents in the intervention, reported strategy use outside of the intervention, and feedback from adolescent participants about the program. We used both descriptive statistics and qualitative data to examine self-regulation strategy use in adolescents with FASD.
Adolescents with FASD were found to use both sensory and non-sensory strategies to help them regulate at the beginning of each intervention session. Participants reported increasingly using the information they learned from the intervention program outside of the intervention, and the majority of participants reported using the information to help them at school. Overall, 96% of participants reported that they enjoyed the program, and 91% of participants reported that the things they learned in the program are helpful in their daily lives.
Three themes emerged from a qualitative analysis of data gathered on the adolescents’ experiences in the program: increasing capacity, sharing knowledge, and connecting meaningfully. These themes highlight important components of the intervention program.
Implications for the use of a self-regulation intervention for adolescents with FASD are discussed. We specifically note the importance of differentiating between sensory and non-sensory regulation strategies, and the need for more research to increase our understanding of the use and impact of self-regulation strategies in adolescents with FASD.