Treatment

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 may help reduce some of the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome and may prevent some secondary disabilities. 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 behavioral issues
  • Medications to help with some symptoms
  • Medical care for health problems, such as vision problems or heart abnormalities
  • Addressing alcohol and other substance use problems, if needed
  • Vocational and life skills training
  • Counseling to benefit parents and the family in dealing with a child's behavioral problems

Treatment for problems with alcohol

Treating the mother's alcohol use problem can enable better parenting and prevent future pregnancies from being affected. 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, ask about 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 also may help.

May 25, 2017
References
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  2. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs): Facts about FASDs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/facts.html. Accessed March 13, 2017.
  3. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs): Alcohol use in pregnancy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/alcohol-use.html. Accessed March 13, 2017.
  4. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs): Secondary conditions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/secondary-conditions.html. Accessed March 13, 2017.
  5. Fetal alcohol syndrome. American Academy of Family Physicians. https://familydoctor.org/condition/fetal-alcohol-syndrome/#questions. Accessed March 13, 2017.
  6. Williams JF, et al. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Pediatrics. 2015;136:e1395.
  7. Effects of alcohol on a fetus. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. https://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content/SMA07-4275/SMA07-4275.pdf. Accessed March 13, 2017.
  8. Weitzman C, et al. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: Overview of management and prognosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 13, 2017.
  9. Wilhoit LF, et al. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Characteristics, complications, and treatment. Community Mental Health Journal. In press. Accessed March 13, 2017.
  10. Weitzman C, et al. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: Clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 13, 2017.
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