Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The psychological and emotional problems associated with fetal alcohol syndrome can be difficult to manage for the person with the syndrome and for the family.

Family support

Children with fetal alcohol syndrome and their families may benefit greatly from the support of professionals and other families who have experience with this syndrome. Ask your health care provider for local sources of support for children with fetal alcohol syndrome and their families.

Dealing with behavior problems

As a parent of a child with fetal alcohol syndrome, you may find the following suggestions helpful in dealing with behavior problems associated with fetal alcohol syndrome. Learning these skills (sometimes called parent training) can include:

  • Recognizing your child's strengths and limitations
  • Implementing daily routines
  • Creating and enforcing simple rules and limits
  • Keeping things simple by using concrete, specific language
  • Using repetition to reinforce learning
  • Pointing out and using rewards to reinforce acceptable behavior
  • Guarding against your child being taken advantage of by others because many children with fetal alcohol syndrome are vulnerable
  • Teaching your child skills for daily living
  • Carefully choosing whom you ask to care for your child when you can't be there, because some behaviors may be difficult to manage

A stable, nurturing home is the single most important factor in protecting children with fetal alcohol syndrome from some of the secondary disabilities they're at risk of later in life.

June 02, 2014

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