What is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)?

FAS is a cluster of four characteristics found in the offspring of mothers who drank during pregnancy, namely;

  • central nervous system dysfunction,
  • abnormal facial features,
  • behavioral deficits, and
  • growth deficiency.

FAS affects up to 9.1 of every 1000 babies born. Triple that with heavy drinkers.

Common cognitive and behavioral problems in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder are.

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Inability to foresee consequences
  • Inability to learn from previous experience
  • Inappropriate or immature Behaviour
  • Lack of organization
  • Learning difficulties
  • Poor abstract thinking
  • Poor adaptability
  • Poor impulse control
  • Poor judgment
  • Speech, language and other communication problems
  • Secondary disabilities associated with FAS
  • Mental health problems 90%
  • Dependent living 80%
  • Employment problems 80%
  • Disruptive school experience 60%
  • Trouble with law 60%
  • Confinement 50%
  • Inappropriate sexual Behaviour 50%
  • Alcohol or drug problems 30%

FAS is 100% preventable by avoiding alcohol whilst pregnant.


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