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FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME


PREVENTION OF SECONDARY DISABILITIES

A child with fetal alcohol exposure presents many challenges. Parenting concerns in raising a child with FAS include:

  1. Sleep disturbances - difficulty falling asleep, frequent wakening during the night
  2. Poor appetite, difficulties coordinating sucking and swallowing
  3. Developmental delays
  4. Speech and language delays - expressive language usually better than receptive language
  5. Frequent ear infections, dental problems, and upper respiratory infections
  6. Sensory integration disorder
  7. Hyperactivity, poor attention span
  8. Learning disabilities, cognitive delays, often scattered
  9. Inappropriate social behaviors, unresponsiveness to social cures, poor judgment
  10. Problems making or keeping friends
  11. Parenting stress

Early intervention may provide ongoing physical, occupational and speech therapy. Comprehensive educational support in the school should be instituted early and changing needs should be addressed. As different challenges emerge, the pediatrician should expect to be involved with a team of specialists to provide ongoing support to the child with FAS and ARBD and the family.

 

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