Women Essay Research Paper Fetal alcohol syndrome

Women Essay, Research Paper

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and fetal alcohol effects (FAE) refers to the physical and mental birth defects which results from a woman s drinking alcohol while she is pregnant. FAS is the number one cause of mental retardation in the United States today.

Fetal alcohol syndrome includes brain injury, deformities, and growth impairment before and after birth. The nature and extent of damage to the baby depends upon many factors, such as when during pregnancy the woman drank, the pattern of alcohol abuse, and whether other drugs were used. The sooner a woman stops drinking, the better her baby s outcome. Alcohol exposure during pregnancy can cause mental retardation, hyperactivity, attention deficits, behavior problems, learning disabilities, memory deficits, birth defects, and even death. There is no cure for fetal alcohol syndrome; (FAS) but it is 100% preventable! FAS is estimated to be in 1.9 per 1,000, or about 1 in every 500 births.

FAS is a significant problem in America. A fetus is completely dependent on it s mother for survival. About 5,000 infants are born with FAS in the U.S each year, or approximately 1 out of every 750.

FAS is characterized by a consistent pattern of prenatal growth deficiency in three parameters- height, weight, and head circumference; facial anomalies; central nervous system damage. The central nervous system damage is pervasive and occurs in the

Due to the recent media attention. We are rapidly becoming aware of a critical threat to our nation s children prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol. The number of children with physical and mental disabilities is increasing so it has become imperative that educators face the reality of serving these children in our schools.

Diagnosis of FAS is important! The optimal time to diagnosis a child is at birth. Early intervention is a critical element in determining the prognosis for a child with FAS. The earlier in a child s life that the medical, clinical, and educational interventions can be provided, the better the outcome. Stable, structured, nurturing environments are necessary to support the child s growth and development. Special needs pre-school programs can provide the most enriching experience.

Appropriate educational placement can make all the difference in a child s success. Many children with FAS require special education services due to the significant learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral difficulties or multiple handicapping conditions. The child s parents, teachers, and school district need to work together in developing the most appropriate placement situation for the child. Although there are many similarities among alcohol exposed children, each child is uniquely different and needs to be assessed on an individual basis. It is very important when working with children with FAS that there is structure, consistency, variety, and persistence. Because these children lack internal structure it is critical that teachers and parents provide external structure for them. It is important to be consistent in response and routine so that the child feels the world is predictable. Because of serious problems


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