FASD: Some problems start at birth, some start later

February 24, 2014 

Children whose mother drank during pregnancy may be born with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and display lifelong behavior, learning and sensory problems.

Some of the characteristics they might be born with include:

• Significant memory problems

• Gaps in the thinking process including difficulty forming associations, predicting, abstract reasoning, cause and effect reasoning and generalizations.

• Slower pace of thinking, understanding and listening.

• Impulsivity and distractibility

• Sensitivity to lights, sounds, temperature, taste and touch.

• Difficulty understanding safety and danger; heightened risk for victimization and exploitation.

• Difficulty managing time, money and schedules.

• A maturity level far below what might be expected of someone his or her age.

As a result of these disabilities, he or she often struggles with pain and frustration or is preyed upon by others, leading to a series of secondary problems that develop later in life. These might include:

• Fatigue and anxiety

• Alcohol and/or drug abuse

• Trouble at school, suspensions

• Trouble with police

• Inappropriate sexual behavior

• Anger and aggression

• Withdrawing and avoidance

• Poor self-esteem

• Isolation

• Depression and suicidal tendencies

Sources: Community Living British Columbia, Centers for Disease Control

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