Assessment/Intervention Strategies for Infants and Toddlers Affected by Maternal Substance Abuse

  • Published 2002


Any discussion of the developmental outcomes and intervention needs of children whose parents abuse alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs (ATOD) must consider the development of the whole child in the context of prenatal and postnatal environments which are often filled with developmental risks. The discussions to date concerning the effects which maternal abuse of ATOD may have on the development of infants and children have focused too narrowly on the effects of prenatal exposure, almost completely ignoring the postnatal environment. Further, these discussions have largely ignored the social and emotional development of children exposed preand postnatally to ATOD while focusing on the cognitive development of these infants/ toddlers. This article presents an overview of risks to which children of ATOD abusing caretakers are often exposed, potential problems which might arise as a result of these risks, and recommended assessment/intervention strategies for high risk children. to any of these risk factors are more likely to suffer health problems, learning impairments, and/or problems with behavior (McCormick, et ai, 1990; Newman & Buka, 1991). Further, these risks tend to be additive in that the greater the number of risks to which an individual child is exposed, the greater the likelihood that the child will develop problems. The early intervention literature, however, indicates that the long-term outcomes for biologically at risk children can be substantially improved through early screening, diagnosis, and intervention programs (Chamberlin, 1987; Sameroff, 1992; Brooks-Gunn, 1993). impair the emotional functioning of the child. The biological risks may occur during the prenatal period or the postnatal period. Common prenatal risks include whether or not the mother got prenatal care and the quality of same, maternal nutrition, sexually transmitted diseases, overall maternal health, and maternal \--

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@inproceedings{2002AssessmentInterventionSF, title={Assessment/Intervention Strategies for Infants and Toddlers Affected by Maternal Substance Abuse}, author={}, year={2002} }