Fetal alcohol syndrome is a condition in a child that results from alcohol exposure during the mother's pregnancy. Fetal alcohol syndrome causes brain damage and growth problems. The problems caused by fetal alcohol syndrome vary from child to child, but defects caused by fetal alcohol syndrome are not reversible.
According to Mayoclinic, there is no amount of alcohol that's known to be safe to consume during pregnancy. If you drink during pregnancy, you place your baby at risk of fetal alcohol syndrome.
If you suspect your child has fetal alcohol syndrome, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis may help to reduce problems such as learning difficulties and behavioral issues.
The severity of fetal alcohol syndrome symptoms varies, with some children experiencing them to a far greater degree than others. Signs and symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome may include any mix of physical defects, intellectual or cognitive disabilities, and problems functioning and coping with daily life.
Physical defects may include:
1. Distinctive facial features, including small eyes, an exceptionally thin upper lip, a short, upturned nose, and a smooth skin surface between the nose and upper lip
2. Deformities of joints, limbs and fingers
3. Slow physical growth before and after birth
4. Vision difficulties or hearing problems
5. Small head circumference and brain size
6. Heart defects and problems with kidneys and bones.
Brain and central nervous system problems
Problems with the brain and central nervous system may include:
1. Poor coordination or balance
2. Intellectual disability, learning disorders and delayed development
3. Poor memory
4. Trouble with attention and with processing information
5. Difficulty with reasoning and problem-solving
6. Difficulty identifying consequences of choices
7. Poor judgment skills
8. Jitteriness or hyperactivity
9. Rapidly changing moods.
Social and behavioral issues
Problems in functioning, coping and interacting with others may include:
1. Difficulty in school
2. Trouble getting along with others
3. Poor social skills
4. Trouble adapting to change or switching from one task to another
5. Problems with behavior and impulse control
6. Poor concept of time
7. Problems staying on task
8. Difficulty planning or working toward a goal.
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