Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Journal Development Disabilities
Alcohol is the leading cause of Fetal Spectrum Disorder. It causes child defects, child birth, and development disabilities. Alcohol can affect the development of multiple organs in the organ system. Most women reduce their alcohol use upon pregnancy recognition, some women report drinking during pregnancy and others may continue to drink prior to realizing they are pregnant. “Pregnancy recognition does not occur in many women until 4-6 weeks gestation and yet many women still drink prior to realizing they are pregnant.” (Webber 2009)
Prenatal exposure to alcohol has profound effects on many aspects of fetal development. Although alterations of somatic growth and specific minor malformations of facial structure are most characteristic, the effects of alcohol on brain development are most significant in that they lead to substantial problems with neurobehavioral development. Since the initial recognition of the fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), a number of important observations have been made from studies involving both humans and animals. Of particular importance, a number of maternal risk factors have been identified, which may well be of relevance relative to the development of strategies for prevention of the FAS as well as intervention for those who have been affected.
Since FAS was first described in 1973, it has become apparent that it is complex; affected people exhibit a wide range of expression, from severe growth restriction, intellectual disability, birth defects and characteristic dysmorphic facial features to normal growth, facial features and intellectual abilities, but with lifelong deficits in several domains of brain function. FASD requires a medical diagnosis in the context of a multidisciplinary assessment. FASD itself is not a diagnostic term. The purpose of...