Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: a descriptive profile of adaptive function

Can J Occup Ther. 2008 Oct;75(4):238-48. doi: 10.1177/000841740807500411.


Background: Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) demonstrate neurobehavioral impairments that affect function and participation. Adaptive behavior deficits have been documented; however, specific functional profiles are less well described.

Purpose: This study compared caregiver-reported adaptive and maladaptive behaviors between a clinic-referred sample of 25 five- through eight-year-old children with FASD and a sample of 23 children with typical development.

Findings: Children with FASD were rated significantly lower on the Scales of Independent Behavior-Revised in social interaction and communication, personal-living skills, and community-living skills and significantly higher on maladaptive behavior scales. Exploratory contrasts revealed strengths and needs within specific functional domains, along with the need for more support and supervision than peers with typical development to perform day-to-day adaptive skills and manage behavior.

Implications: Children with FASD and their caregivers need support for daily activities involving personal and social performance. Awareness of specific strengths and needs can guide interventions that promote function and participation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Age Factors
  • Caregivers
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Child Behavior*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Female
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Motor Skills
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Social Adjustment