A cautionary tale: How an FASD best practices survey for psychological service providers became a best practices guide to online data collection



Lipson, Eli

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University of Guelph


Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by prenatal alcohol exposure, often go unidentified or are misdiagnosed, leading to poor understanding and provision of necessary supports and interventions. School psychologists are essential in identifying children who may have FASD and creating intervention plans. Nonetheless, psychologists and psychological associates have difficulty diagnosing FASD because of lack of information on PAE, variability in presentation, insufficient training, limited skills, and inconsistent diagnostic tools. The intended goal of this study was to survey clinicians working in schools about their FASD knowledge, assessment and intervention, training experiences, and needs. However, the goal of this study changed when the data collection was compromised by bots. Therefore, the goal shifted to identify strategies and tools to enhance data validity when conducting surveys online. Recommended strategies include CAPTCHAs, having interested participants email the researchers, avoiding some incentives, reviewing open-ended responses, and screening completion time.



bots, online data collection, FASD, school psychologists, online recruitment, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder