FAST Club and BrainGamers Club
Finding strengths, building hope: strength-based interventions for children with FASD
What are FAST Club and BrainGamers all about?
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What are FAST Club and BrainGamers all about?
The University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), in collaboration with the Universities of Victoria and Saskatchewan, and Queen's University are conducting a study entitled "Strength-Based Interventions for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders" . This investigation is based on the success of a previous study, now in the final stages of completion, which evaluated a strength-based motor skill program for children diagnosed with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
Our new study will incorporate the motor skill activities program, FAST Club along with an additional intervention, BrainGamers. Preliminary research results from the initial study indicate that participants showed some positive gains in both motor skills and some aspects of cognitive functioning upon completion of the program. What makes our interventions unique is that there is a focus on the existing strengths of the child, and then these strengths are developed to the fullest.
Studies indicate that children with FASD demonstrate two such strengths: a) in their motor skills and b) in their aptitude for working with computer-based technologies. This new intervention study will provide families with the choice of one of two programs that families can select that will each incorporate one of these two strengths:
1) FAST Club- A physical activity and motor skill program where each child will engage in an individually prescribed strength-based program under the supervision of UFV Kinesiology faculty and trained instructors for 2 sessions per week for 12 weeks (total of 24 sessions). Sessions will run Tuesday/Fridays in the fall and Tuesday/Thursdays in the winter session from 4:00-5:30 pm. Please note: The fall session of FAST Club (Sept. –Dec. 2013) will take place at Jackson Elementary School in Abbotsford, BC. The winter session of FAST Club will take place at Creekside Elementary School in Surrey, BC. The location of each participant’s family will help determine placement.
2) BrainGamers Club- Children will engage in a video game and neurofeedback (biofeedback) program under the supervision of UFV Kinesiology faculty. Each child will get to choose their own video game. Success in each game will be determined by a child’s brain wave activity. Altering brain patterns to play fun video games may lead to positive behavioural and cognitive outcomes. The program consists of 2 sessions per week for 12 weeks (total of 24 sessions). The sessions will run either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday from 4:00-5:30. There will be both a fall (Sept-Dec. 2013) and a winter session (Jan.-April 2013).The BrainGamers Club will only be offered at the University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford campus.
Children will be tested on a number of capacities both pre and post programs. These will include tests of physical capabilities and motor skills, tests of cognitive and adaptive functioning, along with tests designed to measure more intricate neurocognitive abilities such as saccadic eye movements. There will also be investigations of how the children’s sleep patterns and physiological stress response may be impacted by their participation in either FAST Club or the BrainGamers Club. Participants in all programs will begin testing August/September, 2013.
All programming will take place under the expertise and supervision of a Project Coordinator, UFV Kinesiology faculty, occupational therapists and a team of fully trained and carefully selected university student instructors and research assistants. All children, regardless of which type of programming they choose, will benefit from one-on-one instruction and interaction with their instructor.
The research team is actively seeking children aged 5 – 16 years (* 5-14 for FAST Club and 5-16 for BrainGamers Club) with a confirmed diagnosis under the umbrella of FASD. It will be necessary to obtain each child’s medical records that contain the diagnosis that identifies them as an FASD affected child. The child’s medical records will be sent directly to Dr. Sterling Clarren, who is a Clinical Professor of Paediatrics at Children’s and Women’s Health Centre of British Columbia. Dr. Clarren will ensure that each child’s records are kept confidential.
The goal is to recruit 40 children for this study.
The program is completely free of charge. Transportation assistance will be provided on request.
For more information and a detailed registration package, please contact:
Alison Pritchard Orr
Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education
University of the Fraser Valley
Tel: 604-504-7441 (4755)
Project funding has been generously provided by a grant from NeuroDevNet and GRAND.