Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Analysis

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Prenatal exposure to alcohol has a profound effect on development and health. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is an umbrella term referring to the various effects and conditions caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol. Lasting effects may include learning and growth deficits, central nervous system dysfunction, behavioral dysregulation, and sensory integration dysfunction. Early developmental trauma, such as prenatal alcohol exposure, has a persistent effect on a child’s development and can lead to delays in social, behavioral, and neuropsychological development. By recognizing early developmental trauma, parents and caregivers may provide the best support to their child. Since early alcohol exposure can express itself in various different forms, …show more content…
First recognized and defined in 1973, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome occurs when there is prenatal alcohol exposure to embryo or fetus (Murawski et. al, 2015). Developing fetuses have the same blood alcohol concentration as their mothers. However, unlike their mothers, they are unable to metabolize and excrete the alcohol from their system, creating opportunity for alcohol to greatly influence development (National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, 2015). This prenatal exposure has a wide range of effects on the physiological and neurological development of the child that extends far beyond their embryonic development. FAS is an umbrella diagnostic term that covers the full range of effects of this exposure such as delays in social, cognitive, and behavioral skills, mental retardation, central nervous system dysfunction, and severe birth defects. Accurately determining the prevalence of FAS has shown to be a very difficult task. While general rates of the condition have been documented, it is believed that the general cited estimates are underestimates of the general population. Children’s of Alabama estimates that only twenty percent of affected children receive a diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (Children’s of Alabama, …show more content…
Defects include wide-set eyes, upturned-noses, thin upper-lips, and extremity deformities (Mayo Clinic, 2015). This facial dysmorphia is what often leads to the earliest diagnosis. Children with FAS have significantly lower weight, height, and BMI levels when compared their normally developing peer groups (May et al., 2014). It is important to note that not all children with FAS exhibit this dysmorphology, and that there are varying levels and degrees of deformities. A child may show no sign of dysmorphology at birth but may have extensive CNS dysfunction and developmental

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