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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

What is Fetal alcohol syndrome? Exposure to alcohol before birth can cause a variety of different problems. One of the most severe effects of drinking during pregnancy is fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS is known as one of the leading preventable causes of mental retardation and birth defects. If a woman drinks alcohol during her pregnancy the baby can be born with FAS, which is a lifelong, physically and mentally disabling condition. FAS is characterized by distinctly abnormal facial features, a growth problem, and central nervous system problems (brain problems). People who suffer from FAS may either have problems with learning, memory, attention span, communication with others, vision, and/or hearing. These problems often lead to trouble in school or social problems and getting along with others. FAS is a permanent condition is already born babies who have it. It affects every aspect of an individual's life and the lives of the people around them. However FAS is one hundred percent preventable if a woman does not drink alcohol while she is pregnant.

Many people do not think that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is common. This statistic however is widely varied. Studies show that FAS rates range from 0.2-1.5 per 1,000 births in different areas of the United States. I think that the odds of a child suffering from FAS is low because most mothers that have children are smart about their choices, if you know you're having a child then you must give up the alcohol. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is only based on the mothers care of herself and if she chooses to endanger the life and well being of her children.

There are many signs of which may be able to tell you if you or your child suffer from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. They may have the following characteristics or exhibit the following behaviors; small in height or weight in comparison to others of the same age, abnormal facial features such as small eye openings, poor coordination, hyperactive behavior, learning disabilities, developmental disabilities (i.e., speech and language problems), mental retardation or low IQ, problems with daily living, poor reasoning and judgment skills, and sleep and sucking disturbances in infancy. Children with who suffer from FAS are also said to be at risk for psychiatric problems, criminal behavior, unemployment, and incomplete education. These are known as "secondary conditions"



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