What are the symptoms and long-term prognosis for a child born with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)?

The symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) that are observable in the child after birth include low body weight, short height, small head, poor eyesight and hearing, and problems with coordination. The long-term prognosis for a child born with FAS includes propensity for alcohol dependency as well as learning impairments. These in turn are often related to behavioral problems and difficulty in school and may involve alcohol- or drug-related activities.

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Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a condition that affects a fetus when the mother consuming alcohol during pregnancy. The baby may be born with FAS, or other less-severe conditions within the fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). The symptoms of FAS that can be observed after the baby’s birth include low...

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Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a condition that affects a fetus when the mother consuming alcohol during pregnancy. The baby may be born with FAS, or other less-severe conditions within the fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). The symptoms of FAS that can be observed after the baby’s birth include low body weight, short body length or height, and a small head with several facial characteristics including small eye openings. As the baby develops, poor eyesight, poor hearing, and difficulties with coordination are also generally observed. These conditions are likely to persist through childhood. Many of them are associated with learning impairments or disabilities, which in turn are likely to affect the child’s performance in school. Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often occurs. Behavioral problems are also often connected to the child’s physical condition but may not be diagnosed as having physical causes.

Another consequence of FAS is difficulties with socialization and, later, with retaining employment.

In combination with the other conditions, the child may begin to experiment with alcohol and drugs at an early age and be at a higher risk for leaving school. Further consequences of these actions may include substance dependency or addiction, sometimes combined with criminal activities and leading to involvement in the legal system. There is also a risk of self-harm, including suicide.

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