Ways To Effectively Treat Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a type of medical condition that can occur if a baby's mother drank alcohol during her pregnancy. Depending on the kind of FASD a baby has, they may experience physical abnormalities, memory issues, learning disabilities, hyperactivity, or intellectual disabilities. Even minuscule amounts of alcohol consumption during pregnancy can result in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder often occurs because a woman drank alcohol without realizing she was pregnant. Though a person with FASD will have to deal with symptoms of their condition throughout their life, there are ways to reduce their severity. Here are a few of the most effective options for treating fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

Medication

Not every child with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder will need this treatment option, but in some cases, it can be helpful. Most prescriptions will be to treat the hyperactivity associated with FASD. In general, the most effective treatments for hyperactivity are stimulants similar to those that treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Antidepressant selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are also sometimes prescribed. These are traditionally used to treat depression, but for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder patients, SSRIs help to deal with the compulsive behaviors, aggression, and outbursts associated with the condition.

Stimulants and SSRIs are often prescribed together because they address common problems while canceling out each other's side effects. There are countless other antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and anti-anxiety medications that can be effective in some situations. You will have to talk to the doctor to find a treatment plan that works for your situation.

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Behavior And Education Therapy

Early intervention treatment options are particularly important since they can help to deal with the developmental delays associated with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. During this time, behavior and education therapy can help your child learn important tasks. There can be an extensive range of behavioral issues FASD patients face, including diminished focus, hyperactivity, poor judgment, and impaired critical thinking. Proper therapy provides the support your child needs to flourish despite these symptoms.

During behavioral therapy sessions, your child can learn coping methods that help them to fulfill their potential despite the issues this condition causes. Since children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder often learn at a slower rate, they may need more focused educational intervention. Having a dedicated teacher who can explain concepts at your child's rate will ensure they are not left behind.

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Physical Therapy

Many children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder suffer from physical problems, including bone abnormalities and unusually low weight. They may also have an underdeveloped nervous system that reduces their coordination and fine motor skills. All of these symptoms may combine to mean a child with FASD struggles to do things like walk normally, tie their shoes, or feed themselves. According to medical researchers, therapy between birth and three years of age is the most important part of treating fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Trained therapists can help you and your child learn methods of eating, walking, and other necessary functions.

Learning these things at an early age can diminish the degree of developmental delay your child faces later on in life. Even some children who do not have obvious physical disabilities can benefit from physical therapy, so be sure to discuss this option with your doctor.

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Parent Training

The way parents react to a child with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder greatly influences the child's future. Since children with FASD often struggle with impulse control and logical thinking, it is crucial for them to have parents who model healthy ways of interacting with others. Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder who live in an unstable, abusive, or negligent household are far more likely to end up dealing with issues like unemployment, criminal activities, and lack of education later in life.

In contrast, children who have parents that actively work to help their child's development are more likely to live a happy and successful life. Because parental involvement during the early years of development is so essential, parents need to be educated on how to best care for and raise a child with FASD. Taking parent training classes that provide them with the information they need will help a parent to provide the ideal environment for a child with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

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Alternative Options

Proper medications, therapies, and parenting techniques do a lot to help treat fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, but they are not the only available treatment methods and many alternative options can provide some help. For individuals who tend to be anxious, tense, or angry, relaxation techniques like yoga, massages, and meditation can be quite helpful. Various forms of therapy, such as biofeedback, art therapy, or animal therapy can help some FASD patients feel happier and more confident. Some believe vitamin supplements and other homeopathic remedies may have a positive effect. Keep in mind any sort of alternative therapy or treatment should always be discussed with a doctor. Though these methods might seem natural and harmless, they may have problematic interactions with other treatments.