Original Research

Young children with fetal alcohol spetrum disorder - communication profiles

Mari de Beer, Alts Kritzinger, Ursula Zsilavcz
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 57, No 1 | a47 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v57i1.47 | © 2010 Mari de Beer, Alts Kritzinger, Ursula Zsilavcz | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 February 2010 | Published: 10 December 2010

About the author(s)

Mari de Beer, Department of Communication Pathology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Alts Kritzinger, Department of Communication Pathology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Ursula Zsilavcz, Department of Communication Pathology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

The aim of the article is to describe the communication profiles of five young children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) from 4 to 58months of age. A collective case-study design following a quantitative and descriptive approach was used to describe the communication profilesof the participants. The results are described according to the participants’ case histories and a four-level early communication assessment framework.The significant findings were that all participants were in foster care, and presented with incomplete case histories, general developmentaldelays and delays regarding all aspects of their communication abilities. An increase in the severity of the spectrum disorder across the participants’combined communication profiles was also identified. Participants presented with complex multiple neurodevelopmental needs thatshould be viewed within a developmental systems and ecological framework. The importance of early identification, diagnosis and assessmentof infants and young children prenatally exposed to alcohol, the identification of precursors to communication impairment at a very early age,and the need for individualised early communication intervention to improve developmental outcomes within a family-centred approach arediscussed. Suggestions for future research to accumulate knowledge about FASD in the field of early communication intervention are made.

Keywords

fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, communication profile, early communication intervention

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