Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

I've been teaching for nine long years, during this time I have seen a host of children with a wide range of mental, emotional, and physical disorders. Most stem from the reckless behaviors of their mothers while they were in the womb. One such group of disorderes I see time and time again is FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME (FASD). The behaviors of students who have FASD often look like ADHD. On Friday, my mother went to a workshop on this topic and shared a great deal of information with me. She mentioned that 50% of pregnancies are unplanned and this often leads to cases of FAS and "involuntary infanticide". Mommy also mentioned that the highest cases of FASD are seen in middle class, college educated, White women (source). She relayed that doctors often don't ask the questions of this type of patient that is needed to find out if they are at-risk.


During my first prenatal appointment, last week, I was asked to complete a two page drug and alcohol questionnaire. With Lil D I was not given this option. I think this should be a mandatory intake process for all pregnant women, right along with NT screening. 


Facts About FASD



  • A national survey found that more than half of women age 15-44 drank while pregnant.9
  • FAS is estimated to occur in 1 to 2 live births per every 1,000 in the United States each year.11
  • Fetal Alcohol Effects (a less severe set of alcohol-related abnormalities) is estimated to occur in 3-5 live births per every 1,000 in the United States each year.2, 11
  • The FAS infant is irritable. The older FAS child is hyperactive. Fine motor skills are impaired with weak grasp, poor hand-eye coordination, and tremors.
  • The face is characteristic with short eye openings (palpebral fissures), sunken nasal bridge, short nose, flattening of the cheekbones and midface, smoothing and elongation of the ridged area (the philtrum) between the nose and lips, and smooth, thin upper lip.


     Photo Credit: here

    Photo Credit: here


    2 here

    9 here

    11 here