Curriculum for Addiction Professionals > Competency 3: Treatment Strategies for Working with Clients with an FASD > 6c. Medical and Mental Health Assessments
Competency 3: Treatment Strategies for Working with Clients with an FASD
Medical and Medical and Mental Health Assessments
Diagnosis is important and the counselor
should refer clients suspected of having an FASD for diagnosis by a team
familiar with FASD. A complete history and physical examination by a physician
is essential. Further neuropsychological testing and assessment by a pediatric
dysmorphologist and neuropsychologist may also be warranted.
If a client already has a diagnosis,
further assessment by medical, mental, and allied health professionals may
be needed to determine current level of function. The counselor will need
to be familiar with any medication and observe any behaviors or physical
symptoms that might indicate the need to reevaluate medication use or dosage.
Hearing and speech tests may be warranted to identify any progress in communication
or barriers that may affect the client’s treatment and ongoing recovery.
Occupational therapy and physical therapy evaluations may be needed to assess
the client’s daily living skills and motor function. In addition, the Wide Range Achievement
Test may be used to determine achievement levels in reading, spelling, and
math. Other helpful instruments include the Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory,
a validated clinical and personality assessment tool that measures change
over time,18 and a social history. The social history may include
information about family and occupation and assessment of cigarette and alcohol
use and/or substance abuse. It should also note developmental milestones.
Some treatment programs assess clients
using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales19 to determine how
the client compares to peers in receptive, expressive, and written communication;
personal, domestic, and community daily living skills; and interpersonal
relationships, play and leisure time, and coping skills. This information
will help the counselor tailor the treatment plan and counseling strategies
to the client’s strengths, needs, and preferences.