There's no cure or specific treatment for fetal alcohol syndrome. The physical defects and mental deficiencies typically persist for a lifetime.
However, early intervention services can help reduce some of the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome and prevent some of the secondary disabilities that result. Intervention services may involve:
- A team that includes a special education teacher, a speech therapist, physical and occupational therapists, and a psychologist
- Early intervention to help with walking, talking and social skills
- Special services in school to help with learning and behavior issues
- Counseling to benefit parents and the family in dealing with a child's behavior problems
- Medications to help with some symptoms
- Medical care for health problems, such as heart abnormalities
- Treatment of the mother's alcoholism to enable better parenting and prevent future pregnancies from being affected
Treatment for problems with alcohol or other substances
If you know or suspect you have a problem with alcohol or other substances, ask a medical or mental health professional for advice. If you've given birth to a child with fetal alcohol syndrome, you may benefit from substance abuse counseling and treatment programs that can help you overcome your misuse of alcohol or other substances. Joining a support group or 12-step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous may help.
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.
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