Author: John Carter

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder Wikipedia

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

This can lead to deficits after birth and beyond.2,3 Alcohol can disrupt development at any stage, even before a woman knows that she is pregnant. At the same time as you ask the doctor for a referral to a specialist, call your state or territory’s early intervention program to request a free evaluation to find out if your child can get services to help. You do not need to wait for a doctor’s referral or a medical diagnosis to make this call. There are many types of treatment options, including medication to help with some symptoms, behavior and education therapy, parent training, and other alternative approaches.

Parents might learn different routines and rules that can help their child adapt to different situations. Often, having a stable and supportive home can help children with FAS avoid developing mental and emotional difficulties as they get older. There isn’t a direct test for FAS and pregnant people may not give a complete history of all alcohol intake during pregnancy. The more you drink while pregnant, the greater the risk to your unborn baby.

  1. Teenagers with fetal alcohol syndrome may experience trouble at school because of vision, hearing, or cognitive problems.
  2. An individual with FAS may have noticeable changes to their face and limbs, as well as delays in the way their body develops over time.
  3. One study found life expectancy is significantly reduced compared to people without FAS (most often due to external causes such as suicide, accidents, or overdose of alcohol or drugs).
  4. Prenatal alcohol exposure is a leading preventable cause of birth defects and neurodevelopmental disorders in the United States.

Brain maturation can become prolonged, and aging can accelerate. Although more research is necessary, some studies show that the craniofacial differences of people with FAS may improve during or after adolescence. The traits most likely to persist are a thin upper lip and a smaller head circumference. Most people with an FASD have most often been misdiagnosed with ADHD due to the large overlap between their behavioral deficits. How alcohol affects a fetus depends on the quantity of alcohol, frequency, and timing during pregnancy. There are also several other disorders, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Williams syndrome, that can have some of the same symptoms.

Nonpharmacologic Treatment for FAS

If you’re currently pregnant, it’s never too late to stop drinking—reach out to a healthcare provider if you need help quitting alcohol. Although FAS is an incurable lifelong condition that is underdiagnosed, treatment can improve its symptoms. This article will discuss the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of FAS in children and adults.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Ask your health care provider, social worker or mental health professional for local sources of support for children with fetal alcohol syndrome and their families. However, if your child has problems with learning and behavior, talk with his or her doctor so that the underlying cause might be identified. The severity of fetal alcohol syndrome symptoms varies, with some children experiencing them to a far greater degree than others. Signs and symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome may include any mix of physical defects, intellectual or cognitive disabilities, and problems functioning and coping with daily life. FAS is characterized by prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE), craniofacial (head and face) differences, neurodevelopmental abnormalities (including behavioral issues), and growth impairment.

In some cases, your healthcare provider might be able to diagnose a child with fetal alcohol syndrome at birth based on small size and specific physical appearance. However, diagnosis of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders can be difficult. FASD may present in childhood or early adulthood with mild social or intellectual concerns, or it can present with birth defects and growth problems during pregnancy. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a condition that develops in a fetus (developing baby) when a pregnant person drinks alcohol during pregnancy. A syndrome is a group of symptoms that happen together as the result of a particular disease or abnormal condition.

What Are the Types of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders?

Your baby’s brain, heart and blood vessels begin to develop in the early weeks of pregnancy, before you may know you’re pregnant. There is no lab test that can prove a child has fetal alcohol syndrome. Lifelong treatment is required and is more effective if collaborative care coordination occurs between all professional agencies.

The families of people with FAS should also be included in treatment interventions. There is no safe amount of alcohol at any time during pregnancy. Even a small amount of alcohol can have adverse effects on a growing fetus.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal alcohol syndrome in teenagers is completely preventable by avoiding alcohol while pregnant. Fetal alcohol syndrome is the result of prenatal alcohol exposure. Using the information that is available, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other scientists estimate less than 2 cases of FASD in every 1,000 live births in the United States. When researchers look at the whole spectrum of disorders (FASD), the frequency may be as high as 1 to 5 out of every 100 kids in the U.S. and Western Europe. Physical symptoms such as growth impairment remain unchanged during adulthood, with persistent shorter stature.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal alcohol syndrome affects not only newborns but also people for the rest of their lives, including in their teenage years. About half of the pregnancies in the United States aren’t planned, leaving the opportunity for accidental alcohol use in the first few pivotal months of gestation. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all of the information provided to you during an appointment, especially if you’ve been told that there may be something wrong with your child. CHOICES program and alcohol screening and brief intervention (SBI). To prevent FASDs, a woman should avoid alcohol if she is pregnant or might be pregnant. This is because a woman could get pregnant and not know for up to 4 to 6 weeks.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Diagnosis

They may be able to direct you to further options for achieving your goals and provide the medical care that may be necessary to withdraw from alcohol. Treatment focuses on controlling the symptoms of the condition. Treatment strategies for FAS include nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic interventions. A single episode of binge drinking, especially during the first few weeks of pregnancy, can lead to FAS. Having four or more drinks within two hours is considered a single binge-drinking episode for females.

Joining a support group or 12-step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous also may help. Diagnosing fetal alcohol syndrome requires expertise and a thorough assessment. Early diagnosis and services can help improve your child’s ability to function.

Differential diagnosis

There is no cure for fetal alcohol syndrome, but symptoms can be managed. Therapies and treatments during a person’s early years may help them reach their fullest potential. Diagnosing fetal alcohol syndrome can be difficult for doctors because there is no one medical test for this condition. There is no cure for FASDs, but research shows that early intervention treatment services can improve a child’s development. After delivery, you should continue to pay attention to when you drink alcohol if you’re breastfeeding your baby. Parental training is meant to help parents to help families cope with behavioral, educational and social challenges.

Many features seen with fetal alcohol syndrome may also occur in children with other disorders. No one particular treatment is correct for everyone with fetal alcohol syndrome. FAS exists on a spectrum of disorders and the way each person is impacted by the condition can vary greatly. For some, it’s best to monitor their child’s progress throughout life, so it’s important to have a healthcare provider you trust.