FASD & Substance Exposure
Prenatal exposure to alcohol can cause a range of disorders known as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs). The most severe effects of this disorder are called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). If only some of the clinical signs of prenatal exposure to alcohol are present, the term Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) is used. Exposure to other toxins (e.g., lead, mercury) also can impact a child’s development.
Individuals with FASDs or other substance exposure typically have neurologically-based challenges like developmental delays and learning disabilities. A spectrum disorder, such as FASD, means that it affects people in different ways, with varying degrees of severity, and at different times in their development. FASDs and exposure to other substances can include delays in several areas of functioning, including social functioning, communication skills, motor skills, and overall intellectual potential. FASD doesn’t impact just one person – the entire family feels the stress of the person’s behavioral issues.
Early assessment and intervention is key to helping parents and teachers plan effectively and appropriately to best help the client – educationally, socially, and psychologically.