How Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Will Affect Your Child

In our last article, we introduced Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and outlined the cause of it. In this article, we will be talking about how it’ll affect your child and if there is a cure for it.

How will Fetal Alcohol Syndrome affect my child?

Children with fetal alcohol syndrome share certain facial features – small eyes openings, a thin upper lip, and a smooth philtrum.

However, the problems are not restricted to those. Other problems include:

  • Poor growth: Newborns may have low birth weights and small head sizes. They may not grow or gain weight as well as other children and this condition may persist into adulthood.
  • Birth defects: It could affect the proper development of the heart, bone, and kidney while the fetus is still in the womb. Vision problems and hearing loss are common.
  • Seizures and other neurologic problems: Poor balance and coordination is another possible problem that the child could face.
  • Delayed development & behavioural problems: The child might grow at a slower rate compared to other children, and the baby may be fussy, jittery, and have trouble sleeping.

Older children or teens that were born with this condition usually have a lack of coordination and fine motor skills. They will also find it difficult to socialise with others as they more often than not have poor social skills. Learning difficulties and poor memory are also expected. They could also be hyperactive, have difficulty concentrating, are stubborn, and have anxiety.

Is there any cure?

Sadly, there isn’t any. However, there are some things that can be done to help a child reach his or her full potential, especially if the condition has been diagnosed very early on.

Services and therapies that could be useful include speech therapy, early intervention education services, classes that teach children social skills, and counselling. Some doctors will also prescribe medicines associated with ADHD, depression, aggressive behaviour, sleep problems, and anxiety to the child.

Parents might also want to consider alternative treatments, such as biofeedback, yoga, herbal supplements, and creative art therapy.

Sources: KidsHealth, Health Line.