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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

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Research Paper: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Steve Radabaugh Psychology 207 Professor D. Collins 18 April 2002 Fetal alcohol syndrome is a disorder characterized by "growth retardation, facial abnormalities, and central nervous system dysfunctions"(Stratton 12). Fetal alcohol syndrome is caused by a woman's use of alcohol during pregnancy. Fetal alcohol syndrome is a difficult thing to deal with. There are many ways child and adolescence development are effected by the syndrome. Fetal alcohol syndrome effects a child physically, psychologically, and their education. Fetal alcohol syndrome is the leading known cause of mental retardation in western civilization. It is present in all cultures, and socioeconomic settings. Raising a child with FAS can be very expensive. It is estimated that the parents of a FAS child will spend approximately two million dollars over the child's lifetime. It is also estimated that taxpayers spend 1.9 billion dollars annually to treat children and adults diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome (68). Drinking alcohol during pregnancy increases the chances that a child will be born with defects. Some defects that generally occur are a cleft lip, cleft palate, vision disorders, ear and nose defects, limb and joint problems, and central nervous system dysfunctions. ...read more.


Skeletal deformities also include deformed ribs and sternum, curved spine, hip dislocation, and malformed fingers and toes (96). The central nervous system is also affected by fetal alcohol syndrome. Deficiencies in the central nervous system can be brought about in a variety of ways. Tremors are more frequent and intense, lasting for longer periods than in unaffected infants. Other behaviors indicating that the infant's central nervous system is malformed include recurring jitteriness, and irritability. Also, problems with sleep are very common. Infants are restless and wake often while sleeping. At birth, the infant is disconnected from the alcohol supply that was present in the womb. As a result, the child suffers from withdrawal symptoms similar to those of adults. These symptoms persist long after childbirth. Specific movements, such as finger control, are significantly restricted. Furthermore, many children display poor muscle tone and possess limited hand-eye coordination (94). Not only are fetal alcohol syndrome children affected by the physical deficiencies, but they also suffer from psychological effects. Children of parents who used alcohol during pregnancy have to deal with psychological and social effects. These children are more likely to have mental health problems, disrupted school experience, as well as trouble with the law (Abel, 37). ...read more.


They need individual assessments in Speech/Language, Occupational Therapy, and cognitive functioning are necessary in establishing a child's strengths and deficits (Stratton, 62). Other evaluations to determine what kind of education help is need are: Psychiatric, neurological and physical therapy. General issues present in the majority of fetal alcohol syndrome children are hyperactivity, impulsiveness, distractibility, poor social skills, poor memory, poor ego development, sensory processing dysfunction, sensory defensiveness, scattered cognitive skills, high levels of anxiety and arousal, and learning disabilities. To teach these children the best the environment needs to be low-key or soft room color, it needs to provide low lighting, comfortable temperatures, space for movement, visually organized, and a very calm area (71). Using the educational skills a child is much more like to develop as an adolescence due to the fact that they will feel comfortable. Although there are many other ways that fetal alcohol syndrome affects child and adolescence development, physical, psychological, and educational needs are the most affected. Physically the child looks different from the norm. They struggle to feel like part of the "in" crowd. Psychologically the child acts differently, and they suffer much more from difficulties. In the aspect of education, these children need a lot more time and effort to be taught. These children are going to struggle all through their lives, but with the help of others they will be successful. ...read more.

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