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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Formerly Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effect. Fetal Alcohol Defined PAGE 1.

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fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Formerly Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effect

fetal alcohol defined page 1
Fetal Alcohol Defined PAGE 1
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder- refers to the range of neurological impairments that can affect a child who has been exposed to alcohol in the womb. A number of factors, including how much the mother drank and at what point during the pregnancy, can influence the severity of the impairments and what functions they most affect. Children with FASD can display symptoms of ADHD, autism, Asperger syndrome, Tourette's syndrome, epilepsy, mental retardation and various psychiatric disorders, but will often not respond to traditional treatments for those disabilities. FASD was formerly referred to as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects, but the new designation better indicates the range of abilities and disabilities experienced by individuals exposed to alcohol in utero


  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder- simplified- the range of disorders caused by consumption of alcohol when pregnant –also better defines the abilities and disabilities associated with individual cases than Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects.
fetal alcohol defined page 2
Fetal Alcohol Defined Page 2
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome- is one of a spectrum of neurological impairments that can affect a child who has been exposed to alcohol in the womb. Children with FAS have distinctive facial features that identify them as having alcohol-related damage, including a small head, flat philtrum, droopy eyelids, flat nose, and a face that looks a little bit too big for the head. Children with FAS may also have low IQs, but not always. Individuals who have been exposed to alcohol prenatally and have fetal-alcohol-related behaviors but not the facial features may be described as having Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) or Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND). The term Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is being used more and more to stress the fact that there are a variety of ways in which alcohol can affect a developing child and no particular set of impairments is "better" or "worse.“


Fetal Alcohol Syndrome- simplified- having neurological impairments from consumption of alcohol during pregnancy- also having distinctive facial features.

facial feature abnormalities
Facial Feature abnormalities

•Small head

•Small eye openings

•Webbing between eyes and base of nose

•Drooping eyelids

•Failure of eyes to move in same direction

•Short, upturned nose

•Flattened cheekbones

•Sunken nasal bridge

•Flat or absent groove between nose and upper lip (philtrum)

•Smooth and thin upper lip

•Opening in roof of mouth

•Small upper jaw

•Low set or malformed ears


behavioral issues
Behavioral issues
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Social withdrawal
  • Stubbornness
  • Impulsiveness
  • Anxiety
  • Problems with daily living
  • Psychiatric problems
major learning issues in the classroom
Major learning Issues in the classroom
  • Difficulty processing information presented in visual and auditory formats
  • Trouble comprehending what they read
  • Difficulties with short-term memory
  • Trouble with abstract reasoning
  • Difficulty processing multiple directions
  • Poor organization skills
behavioral issues1
Behavioral issues
  • Inappropriate social behaviors
  • Inability to comprehend cause and effect of their undesirable behaviors
  • Difficulty with task organization
  • Trouble following several rules
  • Attention issues
possible misdiagnoses and co occuring disorders
Possible misdiagnoses and co-occuring disorders
  • Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Traumatic Brain injury
  • Autism/ Asperger's Syndrome
  • Conduct Disorder
possible co occuring mental health issues
Possible co-occuring Mental Health issues
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Personality Disorders
  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Major Depression
new way to think of students with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
New way to think of students with fetal Alcohol spectrum Disorders
  • Won’t
  • Annoying
  • Resistant
  • Inappropriate
  • Attention seeking
  • Can’t
  • Frustrated, over challenged
  • Does understand
  • Developmentally younger
  • Needs additional attention

Typical mindset

Better mindset

professional shifts for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
Professional shifts for Fetal Alcohol spectrum disorders
  • Stopping behaviors
  • Behavioral modification
  • Personal change
  • Preventing behaviors
  • Modeling behaviors
  • Environmental changes
important teaching factors
Important teaching factors
  • Classroom Environment
  • Active Learning Strategies
  • Establish Routines
classroom environment for all grades
Classroom Environment for all grades
  • Have a quiet area
  • Design the seating arrangement that uses tables and accommodates health issues
  • Limit distraction such as posters and excessive decorations
  • Have clear, concise rules
successful interventions page 1
Successful interventions page 1
  • The 2 C’s
    • Concrete language- use only terms that can be understood by students of a slightly lower grade level
    • Consistent teaching- try to cut down on teaching variations
successful interventions page 2
Successful interventions page 2
  • The 2 R’s
    • Repetition- keep reviewing previous units while moving forward with the current lessons
    • Routine- avoid day to day changes in schedules
successful interventions page 3
Successful interventions page 3
  • The 4 S’s
    • Simplicity- keep lesson short and simple
    • Specific- make all statements without generalizations and abstract content
    • Structure- keep the same schedule and avoid large amounts of free time
    • Supervision- always have at least one educator in the classroom
main sources
Main Sources
  • Teaching Students with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders http://www.fldoe.org/ese/pdf/fetalco.pdf
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Center for Excellence http://www.fasdcenter.samhsa.gov/