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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders


Title: Fetal Alcohol Author: Carolyn Washburn Last modified by: cwashburn Created Date: 9/16/2006 12:50:36 AM Document presentation format: On-screen Show (4:3) – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
  • Carolyn Washburn, MS
  • Family Consumer Science Agent

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What is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a pattern of
    malformations and disabilities resulting from a
    pregnant woman drinking heavily during her
  • FAS will not occur if the father was drinking
    heavily or if the pregnant woman was drinking a
    very small amount of alcohol on rare occasions.
  • Heavy drinking on a consistent basis or binge
    drinking on an occasional basis can produce FAS.

1 Cause of Mental Retardation
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is currently the leading
    cause of mental retardation in the United States.

Fetal Alcohol Effects
  • Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) is a condition where
    children are born with less dramatic physical
    defects, but with many of the same behavioral and
    psychosocial characteristics as those with FAS.
  • FAE is often thought of as lower on a
    continuum than FAS, but this is not correct. Many
    individuals with FAE, while looking quite normal,
    have significant deficits in their intellectual,
    behavioral, and social abilities which prevent
    them from leading normal lives.

  • Alcohol in a pregnant woman's bloodstream
    circulates to the fetus by crossing the placenta.
    There, the alcohol interferes with the ability of
    the fetus to receive sufficient oxygen and
    nourishment for normal cell development in the
    brain and other body organs.

Costs of FASD
  • On an average, each Fetal Alcohol individual will
    cost the taxpayer more than 3 million in his or
    her lifetime. This includes health, special
    education, psychotherapy, counseling, welfare,
    crime and the justice system.
  • More than 60 of prisoners are likely affected by
    alcohol in utero.
  • Add on cost to families (foster, adoptive,
  • Lifetime costs to the individual.

Baby with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Whose baby is this? Baby
    with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • This is Everybodys Baby!
  • Medical costs 1,496,000 Special
    Education 240,000
  • Psychiatric care 530,000 Orthodontia
  • Foster care costs 354,000 SSI 360,000
  • Respite care 6,000
    Residential placement 376,000
  • Supported employment 624,000
  • Total 4,998,000
  • Lifetime costs for one child 5 million
  • Who pays for the effects of prenatal exposure to
    alcohol? Everybody does!
  • Figures do not include lost salary of mother
    and subsequent impact on the local economy.

Physical Characteristics
Brain Development
FAE individuals between 12-51
  • 95 will have mental health problems.
  • 60 will have disrupted school experience.
  • 60 will experience trouble with the law.
  • 55 will be confined in prison/or treatment
  • 52 will exhibit inappropriate sexual behavior.

FAE individuals between 21-51
  • More than 50 of males and 70 of females will
    have drug and alcohol problems.
  • 82 will not be able to live independently.
  • 70 will have problems with employment.

What YOU Need to Know
  • When a pregnant woman drinks, so does her baby.
  • The baby's growth can be altered and slowed.
  • The baby may suffer lifelong damage.

What mom drinks, baby drinks.
  • The alcohol that the pregnant woman drinks goes
    directly to the developing baby at the same level
    of concentration. If mom's blood alcohol level is
    0.2, so is the baby's. However, mom is much, much
    larger. Her mature liver acts to detoxify the
    alcohol. On the other hand, the fetus is
    incredibly smaller. Its liver is not yet mature.
    Therefore, while mom might stay drunk for several
    hours, the developing fetus can stay drunk for
    three to four days. It is because of this
    phenomena that binge drinking, consuming two or
    more drinks per hour, has been found to be more
    detrimental to the developing infant than low
    level, chronic drinking. The fetal blood alcohol
    level becomes very high and stays that way for a
    long period of time.

Remember these things
  • No amount of alcohol is safe in pregnancy.
  • If you usually drink, quit if you are trying to
    get pregnant or if you think you're pregnant.
  • If you can't quit drinking by yourself, get help

Even Small Amounts
  • -----of alcohol can be harmful. Because no amount
    of alcohol can be considered safe, pregnant women
    should avoid all alcohol during the entire
    pregnancy. (Drinks with alcohol in them include
    beer, wine, hard liquor and wine coolers.)

Binge Drinking
  • Having 5 or more drinks at a time is particularly
    dangerous for your baby, because it makes the
    level of alcohol in your blood very high very
    quickly. So, even if you don't drink every day,
    you may put your baby at risk for fetal alcohol

Results of Consumption
  • Forty-four percent of women who drink heavily
    during pregnancy will have a child with Fetal
    Alcohol Syndrome.
  • Of the other 56, some will have Fetal Alcohol
    Effects, be Fetal Alcohol exposed, to minor
    learning and behavioral difficulties. A few will
    be apparently normal.

Are young people drinking?
  • In 2003, 44.9 of 9th through 12th graders
    reported drinking alcohol on one or more of the
    past 30 days prevalence of current drinking was
    higher for females (45.8) than among males
  • In 2003, 28.3 of 9th through 12th graders
    reported binge drinking (having five or more
    drinks of alcohol in a row or within a couple of
    hours) at least once during the past 30 days. The
    prevalence of binge drinking was higher for males
    (29) than among females (27.5)
  • Center for Disease Control, YRBS, 2003

  • 36.5 of girls 13-17 report some alcohol drinking
    in The United States.
  • Binge drinking has become an accepted norm for
    young people.

Despite warnings, frequent
drinking among pregnant women appears to be
Frequent drinking is defined as 7 or
more drinks per week or 5 or more drinks on
at least one occasion.
What are our youth drinking?
Spykes, made by Anheuser-Busch, is a malt
beverage with 12 percent alcohol content about
the same as wine. It comes in mango, lime, melon
and chocolate flavors and is infused with
caffeine as well as the herbs ginseng and
guarana. Sold in 2-ounce bottles that go for 75
cents to a dollar apiece, Spykes gives kick
to your beer, flavor to your drink, and is a
perfect shot, according to the promotional Web
site. This was taken off the market May 2007.
  • How common is fetal alcohol syndrome?
  • In the United States, about 1,200 children are
    born each year with fetal alcohol syndrome. It is
    the leading cause of mental retardation in this

  • The incidence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) has
    been estimated at 1 to 3 per 1000 live births.
    Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) (which
    include FAS) are estimated to occur in about 1 in
    100 births. Cessation of drinking during
    pregnancy can improve the outcome even if the
    unborn child is already affected. For individuals
    born with FASD, an early diagnosis appears to be
    a protective factor against secondary
    disabilities. A quick screening tool to identify
    newborn children at risk has been elusive.
  • Alcoholism Clinical Experimental Research.
    25(2)283-287, February 2001.Barr, Helen M.
    Streissguth, Ann P.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects
do not go away.
  • Once the brain is damaged, it is permanent. Most
    of the damage that occurs in the brain is a
    result of the brain tissue not moving and growing
    where it should, resulting in areas of the brain
    which are not developed at all or are
    underdeveloped. Neuronal connections that should
    have been made are simply are not there. Since
    brain tissue does not regenerate, this damage to
    the brain is permanent, especially if the tissue
    did not form initially. It doesn't ever get

Physical, cognitive, and social deficits
associated with FAS
  • Low birth weight
  • Failure to thrive (eat and grow well)
  • An exaggerated startle response
  • Poor wake and sleep patterns
  • Hyperactivity, distractibility and attention
  • Lying and stealing are common behaviors
  • Impulsiveness
  • Temper tantrums
  • Poor social skills
  • Poor abstracting abilities

Children with alcohol-related birth defects
typically have
  • attention deficits
  • language difficulties
  • learning disabilities
  • impulsive behavior
  • poor judgment

Alcohol can cause permanent damage to a baby
before most women realize they are pregnant.
Where Are These Children?
  • Foster and Adoptive Care
  • -80 of these children do not stay in their
    birth homes.
  • Your Schools and Neighborhoods
  • Todays Adults

The Good News.
The good news is that FAS is 100
  • Education and awareness by everyone at all levels
    is necessary. Individuals in their child-bearing
    years, both men and women, need to know the grave
    harm that can be caused to an unborn child by
    drinking during pregnancy. Our children
    world-wide need to know so they will not make
    these irreversible decisions.

From Fantastic Antone Succeeds
  • "The alcohol-affected child is like a garden.
    Some seeds need to be planted year after year,
    like the carrots and the radishes. The seeds the
    birds carry away have to be replaced almost
    immediately. But there are bulbs that grow in the
    garden and every year they come up almost without
    tending. It can be too easy to see what failed to
    come up this year and step on the crocuses close
    to the ground. The important thing is to be
    thankful that there is a garden. It is not a

  • "The births of all things are weak and tender,
    and therefore, our eyes should be intent on
    beginnings. -Michel Eyquem Montaigne

Everyone Suffers the Effects
  • Children born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
    or Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) have an impact on
    all members of society.
  • Not only does the individual effected face a
    lifetime of pain, frustration and disappointment,
    the impact on all levels society cannot be

Remember-It is Preventable!
How much is too much???
Is there a safer alcohol drink?
  • NO!
  • They all contain approximate amounts of
  • Hard Liquor Beer Wine

From the Office of the Surgeon General
  • Based on the current, best science available we
    now know the following
  • Alcohol consumed during pregnancy increases the
    risk of alcohol related birth defects, including
    growth deficiencies, facial abnormalities,
    central nervous system impairment, behavioral
    disorders, and impaired intellectual development.
  • No amount of alcohol consumption can be
    considered safe during pregnancy.
  • Alcohol can damage a fetus at any stage of
    pregnancy. Damage can occur in the earliest weeks
    of pregnancy, even before a woman knows that she
    is pregnant.
  • The cognitive deficits and behavioral problems
    resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure are
  • Alcohol-related birth defects are completely

For these reasons
  • A pregnant woman should not drink alcohol during
  • A pregnant woman who has already consumed alcohol
    during her pregnancy should stop in order to
    minimize further risk.
  • A woman who is considering becoming pregnant
    should abstain from alcohol.
  • Recognizing that nearly half of all births in the
    United States are unplanned, women of
    child-bearing age should consult their physician
    and take steps to reduce the possibility of
    prenatal alcohol exposure.
  • Health professionals should inquire routinely
    about alcohol consumption by women of
    childbearing age, inform them of the risks of
    alcohol consumption during pregnancy, and advise
    them not to drink alcoholic beverages during

The problems that school face?
  • The primary challenge schools face is
  • that FAS/FAE students are disruptive,
  • unpredictable and have uninterruptible
  • behavior.
  • They need to be taught what other students
  • may just assimilate. They require repetitive
  • instruction, less distractions, specialized
  • techniques, and additional encouragement.
  • They require understanding and support.

Special Needs
  • FAS children will have special needs and
    behavioral challenges
  • Hyperactivity
  • Problem processing

What Can You Do?
  • Education
  • Information, Posters, Signs
  • Start talking before they start drinking
  • Understanding
  • Patience, Reinforcements

  • Early diagnosis can help prevent secondary
    disabilities such as mental health problems,
    dropping out of school, trouble with the law and
    substance abuse.
  • After diagnosis, parents and teachers often find
    that their ability to cope with the child's
    behavior changes dramatically when they
    understand that the problems are most likely
    based on organic brain damage, rather than the
    child's choice to be inattentive or

What helps the FAS child?
  • Early diagnosis.
  • Loving, stable structured family with knowledge
    of diagnosis.
  • Tools to develop to the best of their abilities
    and the support needed.
  • Understanding school and community.

What Youth Can Do
  • Teen Councils
  • Light a Little Star (March of Dimes)
  • Booths, face painting, free information
  • Posters
  • Put where alcohol is sold
  • and in public restrooms
  • Poster Contests
  • State Legislation
  • They can make a difference!

A Childs Story
  • John Kellerman

Cultural Differences
Would you?
Mothering begins before birth!
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  • Minnesota Department for Mental Health
  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Office of the Surgeon General
  • FASD Center
  • The ARC of the United States
  • http//www.ninezero.org/info/
  • National Organization for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • www.samhas.gov

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