If a mother uses alcohol during her pregnancy, there is a risk that her child’s brain will not develop normally, and the child could develop Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (“FASD”). The effects of FASD include:
- Brain damage
- Behavioral problems
- Learning disabilities
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (“FAS”) is one type of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. FAS symptoms can show up in many places in your child’s life.
Children with FAS may have a hard time learning new concepts or memorizing the things they are taught. It can be difficult for them to follow instructions and complete their classwork. They may have difficulty motivating themselves to work hard.
Exposure to alcohol can harm the part of the brain that helps people control themselves when they are upset. As a result, children with FAS may become easily frustrated and they may have trouble controlling their behavior when they become angry. Children with FAS may be hyperactive and have trouble following rules at home and at school.
There is no cure for FAS, but parents of children with FAS can learn to use special strategies to help their children do better in school and learn to manage their behavior. There are also support programs for adults with FAS that can help to increase their quality of life.
Click here if you would like more information about FAS/FASD, or call 1- (800) 66-NOFAS.
If you live in Los Angeles and would like to request that your child be evaluated for FASD, you can contact the Violence Intervention Program’s Community Based Assessment and Treatment Center (CATC) at 1- (323) 221-4134 or UCLA’s Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Related Disorders Clinic at 1- (800) 825-9989.
Please note that not all children qualify to receive services at the CATC or UCLA clinic; contact the clinic to find out if your child is eligible for an evaluation.