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Born Addicted To Alcohol Essay

1577 words - 7 pages

There are different characteristics that accompany FAS inthe different stages of a child's life. "At birth, infantswith intrauterine exposure to alcohol frequently have lowbirth rate; pre-term delivery; a small head circumference;and the characteri stic facial features of the eyes, nose,and mouth" (Phelps, 1995, p. 204). Some of the facialabnormalities that are common of children with FAS are:microcephaly, small eye openings, broad nasal bridge,flattened mid-faces, thin upper lip, skin folds at thecorners of the eyes, indistinct groove on the upper lip,and an abnormal smallness of the lower jaw (Wekselman,Spiering, Hetteberg, Kenner, & Flandermeyer, 1995; Phelps,1995). These infants also ...view middle of the document...

"Specific diffic ultiesincluded inability to respect personal boundaries,inappropriately affectionate, demanding of attention,bragging, stubborn, poor peer relations, and overly tactilein social interactions" (Phelps, 1995, p. 206). Childrenare sometimes not diagnosed with FAS until they reachkindergarten and are in a real school setting. School-agedchildren with FAS still have most of the same physical andmental problems that were diagnosed when they were younger.The craniofa cial malformations is one of the only physicalcharacteristic that diminishes during late childhood(Phelps, 1995)."Several studies have evaluated specific areas of cognitivedysfunction in school-age children exposed prenatally toalcohol. Researchers have substantiated: (a) short termmemory deficits in verbal and visual material; (b)inadequate processing of inf ormation, reflected b sparseintegration of information and poor quality of responses;(c) inflexible approaches to problem solving; and (d)difficulties in mathematical computations" (Phelps, 1995 p.206).The behavioral manifestations of a child with FAS duringthe early years of life are still apparent in children whoare in grade school. Hyperactivity is still the most commoncharacteristic portrayed by these children. Some of thedescriptions used to explain these school-aged children'sbehaviors include: distractible, impulsive, inattentive,uncooperative, poorly organized, and little persistencetoward task completion (Phelps, 1995).As a child reaches puberty and develops into an adult, someof the physical, mental and behavioral characteristicschange. These adolescents begin to gain weight, but stillremain short and microphalic (Phelps, 1995).Cognitive abilities of children with FAS continue to be lowthrough adolescence and adulthood. Low Academic performancescores of adolescents and adults are persistent throughouttheir lives. Many cognitive tests have been done onadolescent/adults wi th FAS, and each of them have founddeficiencies in mathematics and reading comprehension(Shelton & Cook, 1993).The behavioral manifestations of adolescents and adultswith FAS continue to concentrate around the problem ofhyperactivity. Inattentiveness, distractibility,restlessness , and agitation are the main behaviors stemfrom hyperactivity. "Vineland Adap tive Behavior Scalesresults suggest that communication and socialization skillsaverage around the seven year old range"(Phelps, 1995, p.207).The prevalence of children with FAS is on the rise. Morethan ever, children are being diagnosed with FAS. Bettertechniques and knowledge by physicians are accountable forthe increase. Physicians are diagnosing more babies todaywith FAS, because th ey have more knowledge and resourcesto evaluate the children at risk. FAS has no racialbarriers and has been reported by variable ages fromneonatal to young adult (Becker, Warr-Leeper, & Leeper,1990). Estimates in the United States of people with FA Svary from 2 live births per 1,000...

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