The study was conducted by Wells, Chasnoff, Schmidt, Telford & Schwartz (2012) with a focus on enhancing the cognition of children diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), and alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder. The study entailed the development of an experimental group that was compared with a control group. The randomized controlled approach used by the researchers enhanced the validity of the findings.
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The research involved subjecting the experimental group to group therapy intervention, which included the caregivers of the children. The sample space was comprised of children between 6-11 years, which means the researchers concentrated on children at the middle stage of cognitive development. The children and their caregivers were exposed to a neurocognitive habilitation curriculum aimed at enhancing the ability of the children to control their emotions.
The curriculum was also designed with the aim of promoting effective executive functioning for the children. These functions are extensively inhibited by their neurocognitive disorder. The children were exposed to the curriculum for 4 to 5 months, and they were tested 2-3 months after the therapy process (Wells et al., 2012).
The findings of the study revealed a significant improvement in the treatment group. The comparison between this group and the control group revealed a very big difference in the ability of the children in executive functioning and emotional problem-solving abilities. The curriculum effectively enhanced the ability of the children to positively develop their cognition. It also alleviated some of the symptoms associated with the respective disorders. The findings have given hope to scientists that neurocognitive habilitation is a potent method for alleviating the adverse effects of FAS and ARND (Wells et al., 2012).
The study has provided an insight into the possibility of helping children diagnosed with FAS and ARND. The findings of the study are a big step toward developing an effective remedy for the serious neurocognitive disorders caused by the exposure of children to alcohol before and during their early cognitive development stages. It is apparent that the study provided positive findings. However, it is still quite early to celebrate because there have not been any recurrent findings supporting the results of this study.
Are there similar studies with similar findings? There is a need for researchers to attempt to replicate these findings to ensure the current findings are valid. One of the questions that scientists have to ask is whether the effects of the neurocognitive habilitation curriculum can hold on a long-term basis. 2 to the 3-month evaluation of the results is not sufficient evidence for the effectiveness of the therapy intervention method. The effect of the process should be measured on a long-term basis to validate the effectiveness of neurocognitive habilitation in alleviating the symptoms of FAS and ARND.
The study also evokes the question of whether the procedure can be effective for children in the early stages of learning. Children between 3-5 years should be included in future studies to evaluate its effectiveness. It can be hypothetically possible for the proposed therapy method to yield better results when children are exposed to it at an earlier age. The study evokes the thought that future studies should focus on identifying the amount of time that children will require to receive neurocognitive habilitation to attain the most desirable outcomes. In conclusion, the findings of the study are quite remarkable, but the proposed therapy process should undergo further tests to ensure it is valid.
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Wells, A. M., Chasnoff, I. J., Schmidt, C. A., Telford, E., & Schwartz, L. D. (2012). Neurocognitive habilitation therapy for children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: An adaptation of the Alert Program. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66(1), 24-34.