Affects over 40,000 babies each year in the United States. Teens have the
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What is FASD?
FAS is the leading cause of mental retardation in America today!
(Journal of American Medical
stands for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. FAS is caused by a mother's
drinking alcoholic beverages during pregnancy. Drinking alcohol during
pregnancy can cause birth defects.
There is no safe
level of drinking during pregnancy.
Even one drinking binge can cause damage.
According to the
World Health Organization, FAS affects approximately one in every 500
children born in Australia, Europe and North America, and seems to be even
more frequent in some developing countries, like South Africa.
Research shows that alcohol damage to the developing baby occurs over a wide
continuum. Damage varies due to volume of alcohol ingested, timing
during pregnancy, blood alcohol levels, genetics and environmental factors.
At the mild end, damage may be the loss of some intellectual
functioning (IQ), attention deficit disorder, hearing and visual
problems, and higher than normal pain tolerance.
At the severe end, damage may be severe loss of intellectual
potential, severe vision problems, dyslexia, serious maxilo-facial
deformities, dental abnormalities, heart defects,immune system
problems, attention deficit disorders, hyper-activity, extreme
impulsiveness, poor judgment, difficulty with memory retention and
retrieval, deafness, little or no capacity for moral judgment or
interpersonal empathy, sociopathic behavior, epilepsy, tremors, cerebral
palsy, renal failure, heart failure, death.
The primary symptoms of prenatal alcohol damage are:
Poor Impulse Control
Immature or Inappropriate Behavior
Children whose mothers drank during pregnancy might have no physical signs
and may have normal or above normal intelligence, but still may suffer from
the effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol. These children have Fetal Alcohol
Effects (FAE) and may have problems with school and family and friends that
are not identified as FAE. NEXT