Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Fetal alcohol syndrome is a neurological condition caused by exposure to alcohol during pregnancy. This condition has a lifelong severe effect on the fetus, affecting a child's physical, emotional, and neurological development. The term fetal alcohol spectrum disorders is used to encompass the range of disabilities associated with exposure to alcohol in utero, and includes the diagnosis alcohol-related neurodevelopment disorder (ARND). Signs and symptoms that a child might have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder includes: abnormal facial features, small head size, shorter-than-average height, low body weight, poor coordination, hyperactive behavior, difficulty paying attention, poor memory, difficulty in school (especially math), learning disabilities, speech and language delays, intellectual disability or low IQ, poor reasoning and judgment skills, sleep or sucking problems as a baby, vision or hearing problems, and problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones. Three types of fetal alcohol syndrome: fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), alcohol-related neurodevelopment disorder (ARND), alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD). Fetal alcohol syndrome is the severe end of the fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, where fetal death is the most extreme outcome from drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Problems associated with this disorder might have abnormal facial features, growth problems, and central nervous abnormalities including small head circumference, neurological problems, cognitive/development deficits, and behavioral/emotional deficits. The alcohol-related neurodevelopment disorder is where there is a history of alcohol exposure but the child does not meet all the official requirements of fetal alcohol syndrome. Symptoms with ARND might have intellectual disabilities and problems with behavior and learning. They also might do poorly in school and have difficulties with math, memory, attention, judgment, and poor impulse control.