Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder - Clinical Services
Clinical services in the division of Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Pediatrics are designed to address the special health and behavioral needs of children and teens with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
Kirch Developmental Services Center
Many children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder benefit from seeing specialists in childhood developmental disabilities. Developmental Pediatricians can diagnose FASD or work with other specialists to make the diagnosis. Our Kirch Center programs provide evaluation and treatment of the common health and behavior concerns associated with developmental disabilities. Our physicians and nurse practitioners can help families with behavioral support, developmental monitoring, and treatment of health conditions. Our information and referral service provides families with resources to help their child. Our social work team can help families with community supports, financial issues, and family relationship challenges. Our nutritionists can help look at whether a child is getting the right amount of food and nutrients.
Crisis Intervention Program
Our Crisis Intervention Program provides services to individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder who are eligible for NYS OPWDD (Office For People With Developmental Disabilities) who live in Monroe County and are having significant behavioral difficulties
Feeding Disorders Program
Our pediatric feeding disorders program provides assessment and treatment for children who have difficulty eating related to food selectivity (being very choosy about type and texture of food), food refusal (refusing to eat certain types of foods), and disruptive mealtime behavior. We provide individualized assessment by a registered dietician, psychologist with expertise in feeding behavior, and speech pathology. We provide treatment to improve mealtime behavior and increase the range and nutritional quality of foods a child eats.
For children with chewing and swallowing problems, gagging, coughing, or aspiration, we work with speech-language pathology to assess oral motor skills and difficulties. We collaborate with speech-language pathologists to improve oral motor and feeding skills and safety.
Behavior Interventions for Families
The BIFF program is for children with FASD or other developmental disorders who have challenging behavior such as tantrums, feeding or sleeping problems, and poor following directions. Goals of the program are to teach families ways to prevent problem behavior, increase the frequency of positive behavior, and teach the child skills required to behave in a desirable way. This generally involves weekly meetings between the caregivers and our behavior specialist for 6-14 weeks.
Because of the medical and behavioral issues common in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, children often need the care of other specialists. The Kirch clinical team works closely with the following specialists to make sure each child’s needs are met.
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Many children with FASD have mental health challenges. Therapists can help children with self-regulation skills, anxiety management, and other symptoms. They can also help parents to parent more effectively. Psychiatrists can help with prescribing medicine when needed.
Pediatric Sleep Medicine
Many children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder have sleep problems. Low muscle tone can increase the risk for problems like sleep apnea, which can impact daytime behavior, learning, and overall health and functioning. Specialists in the Pediatric sleep medicine service can evaluate and treat these sleep problems.
Physical & Occupational Therapy
Many children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder have problems with slow development of motor skills. Sometimes children need therapy in addition to what they get through school or Early Intervention. URMC pediatric physical & occupational therapists are available to provide outpatient evaluation as well as intense and targeted therapy programs for children and teens. These programs target specific home and community goals, and independent daily loving skills.
Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder often have difficulties with speech, communication, oral-motor control and feeding/swallowing. We work with both Dawn Vogler-Elias (Kirch Speech-language pathologist) and with the team in URMC’s speech pathology department to meet the needs of children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.