Fetal Alcohol Disorders by Sandra Alters

By Sandra Alters

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Alcohol can have devastating effects on a developing embryo and fetus, the worst of which is death and subsequent miscarriage. And if a developing embryo or fetus does not die from alcohol exposure, it may develop a fetal alcohol disorder. Fetal alcohol disorders, more technically called fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, are a range of incurable disabilities in the areas of intelligence, cognition, growth, and development. Alcohol and Prenatal Development “ During prenatal development, alcohol not only interferes with critical cell processes such as taking in nutrients and eliminating wastes, but it can also affect genes—the hereditary material—and the developmental processes that genes direct.

Social Interaction The developmental immaturity of children with fetal alcohol disorders is evident not only in the classroom, but also in their social interactions. Although children with such disorders are generally outgoing, they are also hungry for attention and appear to others to be too talkative and intrusive. They do not understand social norms within a group and how to interact appropriately with others. For example, they often do not know how to “read” the facial expressions and body language of others, so they may not understand if someone feels insulted by something they did or said.

Fine motor skills, such as handwriting, picking up small objects, tying shoelaces, Adults with fetal using scissors, and holding a cup by alcohol disorders its handle, involve small muscles, usually require susuch as those of the fingers. pervision around Poor motor skills, eye-hand cothe clock so that ordination, and body awareness not they will not hurt only hamper the ability of individuthemselves, unwitals with FASDs to accomplish daily tingly hurt othtasks like taking a shower and washers, or become the ing their hair, but these disabilities victim of abuse.

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