Children with fetal alcohol syndrome can experience a lack of inhibitions, recklessness, learning disabilities, lack of judgment, lack of understanding of the effect their behavior has on other people and lack of attachment to others.
FAS is an alcohol-related birth disability and occurs from alcohol use while a woman is pregnant. During pregnancy, alcohol passes through the placenta and is absorbed by the unborn child. FAS includes physical, mental and behavioral abnormalities. Most children with FAS will have different facial features. Most will have problems with growth and permanent brain injury frequently occurs. Facial features may include a short nose, flat mid face, thin upper lip and small underdeveloped jaw.
In the nation, between three to 19 children in 10,000 are born with FAS each year.
Some children affected by alcohol but without all the features of FAS may be diagnosed with fetal alcohol effects. It is unknown how many are born with FAE. They may have a normal growth and appearance, but can have mild to sever problems with reasoning, behavior and learning.
There are learning curves that must to stretch into infinity without success. For instance, a child may not be completely toilet trained until adolescence.
FAS/FAE continues throughout life. Infants may have symptoms that include seizures, sleeping disorders and may be born with low-birth weight. In preschool ages, motor and complex speech development are often slow. Children may be hyperactive. Children may be short in stature and have a small head size, although facial features and growth limitations may be less noticeable. Limited reasoning and limited judgment skills continue.
As teens, girls may become obese. But other physical differences in FAS children may become harder to point out.
School-age children with FAS/FAE may continue to grow slowly. The children may appear thin and malnourished. Slow growing head size is related to slow brain growth and development. In school, FAS/FAE children may have difficulty fitting in and making friends.
Children with FAS/FAE may not be able to learn from experience. They may also have difficulty following rules. There can be a disconnect between action and consequence. Children frustrated with an inability to learn may act out their anger.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.