FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME

Description

Fetal alcohol syndrome is a condition in a child that results from alcohol exposure during the mother’s pregnancy

Symptoms

  • Small head
  • A smooth ridge between the upper lip and nose, small and wide-set eyes, a very thin upper lip, or other abnormal facial features
  • Below average height and weight
  • Hyperactivity
  • Lack of focus
  • Poor coordination
  • Delayed development and problems in thinking, speech, movement, and social skills
  • Poor judgment
  • Problems seeing or hearing
  • Learning disabilities
  • Intellectual disability
  • Heart problems
  • Kidney defects and abnormalities
  • Deformed limbs or fingers
  • Mood swings

Causes

  • Exposure of the fetus to alcohol

Risk Factors

  • Children of women who drink frequently

Diagnostic Tests

  • A physical exam
  • Doctors assess:
  • The occurrence of drinking during the pregnancy
  • Physical appearance and distinguishing features
  • Physical growth and development
  • Brain growth and development
  • Cognitive ability and learning and language development difficulties
  • Health issues
  • Social and behavior problems

Treatment

  • Counseling
  • Therapies:
  • Speech
  • Occupational
  • Physical
  • Medications:
  • Antidepressants
  • Neuroleptics
  • Antianxiety drugs
  • Stimulants for certain disorders

Lifestyle Management

  • Avoid drinking alcohol during pregnancy
  • Dealing with behavior problems
  • Family support