Coping and supportBy 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.
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
- Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/index.html. Accessed March 6, 2014.
- Alcohol during pregnancy. March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/alcohol-during-pregnancy.aspx#. Accessed March 6, 2014.
- Effects of alcohol on a fetus. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. http://fasdcenter.samhsa.gov/grabGo/factSheets.aspx. Accessed March 6, 2014.
- Jansson LW. Infants of mothers with substance abuse. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 6, 2014.
- Landgraf MN, et al. The diagnosis of fetal alcohol syndrome. Deutsches Arztebaltt International. 2013;110:703.
- Ungerer M, et al. In utero alcohol exposure, epigenetic changes and their consequences. Alcohol Research: Current Reviews. 2013;35:37.
- Coriale G, et al. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD): Neurobehavioral profile, indications for diagnosis and treatment. Rivista di psichiatria. 2013;48:359.
- Petrenko CL, et al. Prevention of secondary conditions in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Identification of systems-level barriers. Maternal and Child Health Journal. In press. Accessed March 6, 2014.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 17, 2014.
- Tervo RC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 11, 2014.