Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

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Alcohol (wine, beer, or liquor) is the leading known preventable cause of developmental and physical birth defects in the United States. When a woman drinks alcohol during pregnancy, she risks giving birth to a child who will pay the price, in mental and physical deficiencies, for his or her entire life. One study (Phyllis Trujillo Lewis, MA, Philip A. May, PhD, and Virginia C. Shipman, PhD, 2007) asserted that “Numerous studies on alcohol-related birth defects have concluded that maternal drinking, compounded by other risk factors, leads to fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS is a serious birth defect and the most common non-genetic cause of mental retardation” as said by (Hankin, 2002; Abel & Sokol,1986; O’Connor, Kogan, & Findlay, 2002; May & Gossage, in press). It is unknown how much maternal alcohol consumption results in FAS or other related disorders, or why some women who drink are at substantially higher risk of giving birth to a child with alcohol-related disabilities than others (Stratton, Howe, & Battaglia, 1996). However, researchers have identified several maternal risk factors differentially associated with FAS. These include advanced maternal age, number of pregnancies, previous births of a child with FAS, cohabitation with a male partner who drinks heavily, and low socioeconomic status (SES; May et al. 2004; 2008a; Viljoen et al., 2002). FAS is 100% preventable, which makes awareness and education the core preventative method for FAS. It is seen through Lewis, May & Shipman’s research that women who are less educated are less aware of the risks involved with drinking while pregnant. There are five types of typical intervention for FAS patients (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome [Wikipedia entry]. (n.d) Retrieved December 1,... ... middle of paper ... ...eved December 1, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetal_alcohol_syndrome.) Kjellmer, L., Olswang, L., & , (2007). Variability in classroom social communication: performance of children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and typically developing peers. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research N Vol. 56 N 982–993 N June 2013 N American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Lewis, P., May, P., & Shipman, V. (2007). Socioeconomic status, psychological distress, and other maternal risk factors for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders among American Indians of the Northern Plains Risk factors for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, Volume 17 Number 2 Merrick J, Merrick E, Morad M, Kandel I. (2006). Fetal alcohol syndrome and its long-term effects. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Faculty of Health Sciences Jun;58(3):211-8.

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