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.