Concerns and Strengths: Caregiver Perceptions of TheirInfant/Toddler with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

Pruner M, Jirikowic T, Baylor C, Astley Hemingway S. Concerns and Strengths: Caregiver Perceptions of Their Infant/Toddler with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. Children. 2023; 10(3):544.


Caregiver-reported assessments provide opportunities for caregivers to share concerns and identify the strengths of their infant/toddler regarding prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE). These insights may reveal under-recognized concerns and inform a strengths-based approach to early intervention.

The purpose of this study was to describe the type and frequency of caregiver-reported concerns and strengths in a sample of infants/toddlers at the time of their fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) diagnostic evaluation. Caregivers’ concerns and strengths were identified in the context of two parent-report questionnaires, the Infant Toddler Sensory Profile and Child Behavior Checklist/1½-5. By using content analysis, caregivers’ open-ended responses were identified, coded, and analyzed. The frequencies of all the coded concerns and strengths were counted. The data were compared across the two age groups (<2 years and ≥2 years) and caregiver status. Caregivers (n = 117) identified numerous concerns and strengths across multiple categories.

The most frequently reported concerns were related to aggressive behavior, language/communication, and sensory processing. The most frequently reported strengths were related to happiness, sociability, and love. The type of concerns and strengths reported were relatively consistent across age and caregiver status.

These findings reinforce the value of caregivers’ perspectives and offer a reminder to practitioners that infants/toddlers with PAE and their caregivers have many strengths that can be harnessed, in addition to a range of challenges that must be addressed.

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