Key Indicators of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
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Women who consume alcohol throughout their pregnancy put their child at a higher risk of experiencing a variety of mental and physical conditions, known as FASD. With proper medications and counseling, FASD can be treated and monitored to help the child live up to their fullest potential, especially if symptoms are caught early in life.

5. Problems With Eating
For an infant with FASD, sucking is more of a challenge, due to the lack of proper development. Often times, the baby will face problems with malnutrition because it is not getting enough of the vitamins and nutrients that it needs to grow and be healthy. Most cases require the care of doctors and specialists who can monitor the infant’s eating habits and ensure that the appropriate amount of calories are being consumed. If the proper procedures are followed, the child can be coached and nurtured into getting what they need.

4. Irritability
A baby with FASD is more prone to cry and tends to be quite hard to soothe. Being held or swayed will typically not work and, since eating is often a challenge for infants with FASD, feedings may not improve mood, either. Some have discovered that letting the child lay in a quiet and dark area offers the best solution, as being rocked or cuddled does not tend to initiate positive responses. Seeking counseling to figure out what works best for each specific child is advised, as everyone is different and results may vary.

3. Non-Responsiveness
An infant is always taking in new things and learning about its surroundings. As it ages, it will become more and more interactive, constantly taking notice of new sights and sounds. If the baby shows little interest in the world and does not typically react to prompts from the caregiver, then FASD is likely the reason why. Because it is underdeveloped, it will have less capability in processing things and may be experiencing some sensory issues, as well.

2. Sleeping Issues
In most cases, a new baby will wake up periodically throughout the night. This is normal and should cause no need for alarm. Yet, if the child is always inconsolable and screams consistently throughout the night, then there may be some deeper issues. Normally, an infant can be soothed back to sleep after eating and being rocked. If the child has FASD, it will not respond well to being nurtured or cuddled and will likely refuse to take a bottle.

1. Hypersensitivity
Hypersensitivity is a common problem in children with FASD. This could mean a child has extra sensitive hearing or vision. He or she may not tolerate noise well at all and just going outside could put too much strain on the eyes. Other sensory issues may be sensitivity to touch or being bothered by more smells than the average person. It is important to work with a child with sensory issues to ensure that they are as comfortable as possible. Seeking a doctor’s advice regarding further treatment is also advised.