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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

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  1. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome By Melissa Sterling

  2. Questions? • Should legal policies be developed in regard to FAS? • Should Parents be charged with child abuse?

  3. What is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome? It is caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol and is the leading cause of mental retardation. It consists of a pattern of neurologic, behavioral, and cognitive deficits that can interfere with growth, learning, and socialization.

  4. Why I Chose this Topic I chose Fetal Alcohol Syndrome because, I had a child in my after care program who has FAS. After finding out her diagnosis I began to research it and found out how important it is for Educators to be aware of the signs, and how “WE” can help these children.

  5. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome has Four Major Components: A characteristic pattern of facial abnormalities such as small eye openings, indistinct or flat philtrum, thin upper lip. Growth deficiencies, such as low birth weight Brain damage, a small skull at birth, structural defects, and neurologic signs, including impaired fine motor skills, poor eye-hand coordination, and tremors Maternal alcohol use during pregnancy

  6. Difference’s in Facial Features

  7. Front View of a Child with FAS

  8. Brain Damage

  9. The Numbers • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome presents a significant hazard for our country’s newborn population. It is the leading cause of mental retardation, with prevalence figures surpassing Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Spina Bifida.

  10. Mental Retardation • Approximately 8% of all mild mental retardation appears to be the result of prenatal exposure to alcohol, and between six and eleven thousand children born each year in the United States are reported to have major or minor physical birth defects caused by prenatal alcohol exposure.

  11. How is FAS diagnosed? It is determined when a child has a cluster of disorders within three diagnostic areas. • Central Nervous System Dysfunction • Craniofacial malformations • Prenatal and post-natal growth development

  12. Frequently a child is not diagnosed until they come to the attention of the education system or social services and only then because of developmental delays or physical problems.

  13. Treatment • FAS is a permanent condition, and there is no cure. It affects every aspect of an individual’s life and the lives of his or her family. • Early diagnosis is very important • Involvement in special education and social services • A loving, nurturing, and stable caretaking environment • An absence of Violence

  14. Quote from a Mother “I gave birth to a baby that weighed two pounds because I used. In recovery, they say alcohol is a drug, and I did drink with him. I lost that baby because I couldn't stop using because alcoholism is a disease.”Sheila Gaskins

  15. How Much Can A Pregnant Women Drink? • None! • There has been a recent surge in media coverage regarding light to moderate drinking during pregnancy and that it is okay. This is not true. • The Surgeon General states that women are advised to abstain from alcohol during pregnancy, or when considering pregnancy, due to the risk of birth defects. • Alcohol is a Teratogen, it is a Drug

  16. One drink a day is like given your baby 16 bottles of alcohol

  17. How Alcohol Travels to the Fetus

  18. Neurological Signs Anxiety seizures manifest themselves within 6-12 hours of birth and last about seven days. Infants exhibit poor sucking reflexes, abnormal muscle tone, hyperactivity and attention deficits. Additional Central Nervous system symptoms include a high degree of irritability and hypersensitivity to loudness.

  19. Preschoolers with FAS Demonstrate attention deficits, delayed reaction time, and decrements in fine and gross motor performance. During their early school years, there is poor impulse control, social intrusiveness, poor peer relations, trouble remembering social rules, and excessive demands for bodily contact. There also may be significant deficits in IQ, verbal performance, reaction time, and motor speed.

  20. Pre School Child with FAS

  21. As They Grow As children with FAS mature, they continue to have short stature, but their weight is less effected, leaving them of normal weight or even plump. They continue to have head sizes two standard deviations smaller that average with microcephaly being their most prominent growth deficiency.

  22. What Educators Need to Know Students with FAS may have learning challenges such as: • Visual and auditory processing problems • Difficulty with reading comprehension • Memory problems • Sensitivity to sensory input • Attention deficits • Problems with social behaviors • Problems following multiple directions or rules • Difficulty with math and abstract reasoning • Inability to understand cause and effect • Difficulty organizing tasks and materials

  23. What Can We Do As Teachers? • Use literal terms • Be consistent • Repeat, Repeat, Repeat • Follow a Routine • Keep it simple • Be specific • Provide Structure • Supervise

  24. Prevention • The only prevention is Education • Women need to be made more aware of the affects of drinking while pregnant

  25. Questions? • Should legal policies be developed in regard to FAS? • Should Parents be charged with child abuse?