Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Other Reasons to Begin Recovery
Table of contents
- What is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?
- Other Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Causes and Risk Factors
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Symptoms and Side Effects
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Diagnosis and Treatment
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Treatments
- Treatment for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Alcoholism in Los Angeles
What is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome vs. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) in newborns result from exposure to alcohol during pregnancy. While fetal alcohol syndrome is a condition, FASD is a broader diagnosis that includes all patients with FAS. It also encompasses other people affected by prenatal alcohol exposure who didn’t meet all the requirements of FAS. 1
How Common is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?
Other Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
- Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND): This causes problems and intellectual disabilities with learning and behavior in children. Your child may perform poorly in school, have difficulties with memory, judgment, and attention, and have poor impulse control.
- Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD): This causes children to experience problems with the bones, heart, kidneys, or to develop hearing problems. Children may also have a mix of all these problems in some instances.
- Neurobehavioral Disorder Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (ND-PAE): There are three areas to pay attention to if a child is diagnosed with ND-PAE. Firstly, they develop thinking and memory issues, like having trouble with planning or forgetting things they already learned. Secondly, they have behavior problems like tantrums, difficulty shifting attention from different tasks, or mood issues like irritability. Lastly, the child may have trouble with daily living, such as dressing for the weather, playing with other kids, or bathing.
- Partial fetal alcohol syndrome: This is when a child does not meet the complete requirements of FAS but still experiences symptoms. Here, the child only develops some conditions of FAS like facial abnormalities or growth problems.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Causes and Risk Factors
Drinking Whilst Pregnant Consequences
- Alcohol enters the bloodstream and crosses the baby’s placenta
- The unborn baby metabolizes alcohol slower than the mother, hence developing a higher concentration of alcohol in their blood and leading to unwanted issues
- Alcohol interferes with optimal nutrition and oxygen delivery to the unborn baby
- Alcohol harms tissues development and organs, potentially causing permanent brain damage to the unborn baby.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Symptoms and Side Effects
Mild Symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- Difficulty in school
- Poor social skills
- Trouble adapting to change
- Difficulty switching from one task to another
- Problems with impulse control and behaviors
- Poor concept of time
- Problems staying on a task
- Difficulty working or planning towards a goal
Severe Symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- Poor balance or coordination
- Intellectual disability, delayed development, and learning disorders
- Poor memory
- Trouble with processing information and paying attention
- Difficulty with problem-solving and reasoning
- Difficulty in identifying the consequences of choices
- Poor judgment skills
- Jitteriness or hyperactivity
- Rapid mood changes
- Behavioral and social issues
- Trouble getting along with other people
Physical Side Effect of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- Distinctive facial features like small eyes, short upturned nose, a skinny upper lip, or smooth skin surface between the upper lip and nose
- Deformities of limbs, joints, and fingers
- Slow physical growth
- Vision and hearing difficulties
- Small head circumference and brain size
- Heart defects
- Problems with bones and kidneys
- Congenital disability
- Seizures and other neurologic problems
- Delayed development
Post-Birth Complications of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis
- Aggression and inappropriate social conduct
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Mental health disorders like depression, eating disorders, or anxiety
- Problems in completing or staying in school
- Difficulties with employment and independent living
- Inappropriate sexual behaviors
- Early death by accident, suicide, or homicide
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Diagnosis and Treatment
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Diagnosis
- Postnatal and prenatal growth issues
- Facial dysmorphology
- Central nervous system dysfunction
- Neurobehavioral disabilities.
Mitigating the Effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- They are diagnosed before reaching six years old.
- They are provided with a loving, stable, and nurturing home environment during school years.
- They are not exposed to violence.
- They offer special social services and education help if needed.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Treatments
Medications to Help With FAS
- Antidepressants, which can help treat problems with sleep irritability, aggression, or difficulties in school.
- Anti-anxiety medication.
- Stimulants, which can treat behavioral issues like poor impulse control, hyperactivity, or trouble concentrating.
- Neuroleptics treat behavioral problems, aggression, and anxiety as well.
Parental Training Practices
Parental training involves treatments that help them with their alcohol addiction if they are still struggling. This training prevents FAS in future children and offers parental skills to help the child with fetal alcohol syndrome. Behavioral and educational interventions may involve:
- A special education teacher, occupational and physical therapists, a speech therapist, and a psychologist.
- Early interventions to help with talking, walking, and social skills.
- Services to help with behavioral and learning issues.
- Life skills.
- Counseling that benefits the whole family in coping with a child’s behavioral issues.3
Treatment for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Alcoholism in Los Angeles
- Detoxification: Detox is the initial stage of alcohol addiction and happens in a highly monitored and regulated environment. During this time, the patient gets toxic substances safely removed from the body. Because the body has become used to the drug, the patient experiences withdrawal symptoms. Though withdrawal symptoms may happen for one to two weeks, they may last longer depending on the severity of the abuse disorder.4
- Inpatient (Residential) Care: This is where a doctor supervises and monitors the patient in an inpatient facility. Residential care is often recommended for people with severe alcohol use disorder. Checking in at a long-term or short-term inpatient care depends on the severity of the substance abuse disorder. Inpatient care involves various psychotherapies and medicated-assisted treatment to help the patient overcome addiction.
- Outpatient Care: Outpatient programs do not require check-in at a center for the entire length of the program. Patients can go home every day after therapy and only check-in when they have sessions. Some programs offer daily sessions, while others may meet up to three times weekly. Outpatient care provides structured and time-intensive programs like Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs) or Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs). Both offer a full range of ongoing support and assessment.
Contact Concise Recovery
Contact Concise Recovery today for a fetal alcohol syndrome diagnosis or inquiries. While your unborn child might develop complications, an early diagnosis is helpful to prevent the severity of its effects. Consult with your medical provider earlier when pregnant and battling alcohol use disorder.