Table 3

Social Communication and Behavioural Strategies

Study quality

Participants (n), age, inclusion criteria and setting

Interventions and follow-up

Outcome measures

O'Connor et al, 2006[22]

Quasi – RCT

Alternate allocation; blinding unclear; follow-up 93%; ITT analysis unclear; sample size calculation provided.

n = 100, 6 to 12 years

FAS, Partial FAS or ARND[23] & social skills deficit & verbal IQ ≥ 70

Children with major sensory or motor deficits or a past diagnosis of mental retardation or pervasive developmental disorder were excluded

Recruited from community, USA

CFT or delayed treatment

Twelve 90-minute sessions over twelve weeks

Parents attended concurrent information sessions on FASD and social skills

Follow-up: 3 months

Test of Social Skills Knowledge: The CFT group showed significant improvement in knowledge compared to the control group (F(1, 90) = 56.52, p = 0.0001). At three months, social skills knowledge was maintained (t(48) = 1.07, p < 0.29).

Social Skills Rating System Parent : social skills (F(1, 93) = 5.03, p < 0.03) and problem behaviours (F(1, 93) = 4.05, p < 0.05) significantly improved in the CFT group compared to the control group. At three months, parent reported social skills continued to improve (t(48) = 3.35, p < 0.002) and the decrease in problem behaviours was maintained (t(48) = 1.48, p < 0.15).

Social Skills Rating System Teacher : no significant difference in social skills or problem behaviours between the groups immediately post-intervention or at three months.

Timler, 2005[25]

Pre- and post-intervention

Blinding unclear

n = 1, 9 years


Recruited from a Fetal Alcohol Clinic, USA

Social communication intervention

Two one-hour individual sessions per week, then four two-hour group sessions

Follow-up: 6 weeks

More strategies on how to behave in a variety of social situations.

Increased number of mental state verbs used.

Vernescu, 2007[26]


Randomized (method unclear); allocation concealment unclear; blinding unclear; follow up 100%; ITT analysis unclear; study power not provided.

n = 20, 6 to 12 years

FASD Inuit children, Canada

Attention Process Training or contact sessions

Follow-up: 3 weeks

Measures of sustained attention: children in the intervention group showed significant improvement.

Measures of non-verbal reasoning ability: children in the intervention group showed significant improvement.

Measures of executive function: no significant difference.

Peadon et al. BMC Pediatrics 2009 9:35   doi:10.1186/1471-2431-9-35

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