A Product of Disability Access: Empowering Tribal Members with Disabilities & Their Families
by Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc.
While it would be impossible to cover in detail every one of the thousands of conditions that cause disability and chronic illness, we try to spotlight in each of our workshops one condition that is disproportionately common in Indian country. During the Disability in the School Years workshop we discuss Traumatic Brain Injury, in Youth and Adulthood, we discuss Diabetes, which is often first-diagnosed in adults. In this workshop, we turn our focus to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Does the child at left have FAS or not? There is a common belief that all children affected by alcohol can be identified by obvious physical differences. That is not completely true. While children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome do have some distinct physical features, a large number of children affected by alcohol do not look any different from any other child on the reservation.
It might help a little if the terms would quit changing! Twenty years ago, you might hear about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Then it was Fetal Alcohol Effect (FAE). Then there was Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Now you see something called FAS/ARND. This stands for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/ Alcohol Related Neurological Disorders. Bet that all helped you a lot to figure out how to help your foster child, didn't it? Just kidding. The important thing to know about all of that is whether your loved one has FAS, FAE, FASD or other terms on his or her records, any programs or information on any of the other terms probably could be useful.
The next few pages explain the different types of birth defects due to alcohol, what you can expect and what you can do now.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome - is a birth defect that occurs in some children whose mothers drank alcohol during pregnancy. Children with FAS have mental retardation and developmental disabilities. They also have some facial features that are different. For example, they may have smaller eye sockets or a thinner upper lip than the average person. Children with FAS are usually very small for their age.
Fetal Alcohol Effect - is a term used for children who do not show all of the characteristics of FAS. They may have learning and behavior problems, but are still functioning at the low end of the normal range. Some people with FAS have mental retardation or brain damage but physically appear normal.
ARND - is used to describe a child who has brain damage that is similar to that seen from children who were exposed to alcohol during pregnancy but do not show the small size or facial characteristics of children with FAS.
|Early Childhood Home||:||Fetal Alcohol Syndrome|
Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc. -- P.O.Box 663, 314 Circle Dr., Fort Totten, ND 58335 Tel: (701) 351-2175 Fax: (800) 905 -2571
Email us at: Info@SpiritLakeConsulting.com