Tuesday, May 06, 2008

FASD Fact of the Day: Secondary Conditions of FAS -- FASD

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in an Internet article Secondary Conditions Associated with FAS published on May 6 2006 Secondary Conditions are problems a person wasn't born with, but problems they may be acquired as a result of FAS (FASD).

The University of Washington, Fetal Alcohol & Drug Unit wrote in 1996 report that A better understanding about FAS and effective interventions with children and adults with FAS (FASD) are the key ways to avoid the development of secondary conditions.

Some of the Secondary Conditions FAS (FASD):

  • Mental Health Problems - Several studies have shown an increased risk for cognitive disorders, psychiatric illness, or psychological dysfunction.
    Frequently diagnosed disorders

    • Attention problems, including Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

    • Conduct disorders

    • Alcohol or drug dependence

    • Psychotic episodes

    Other psychiatric problems

    • Anxiety disorders

    • Depression

    • Eating disorders

    • Post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Disrupted School Experience - Reports indicate that children with FAS (FASD) are more likely:

    • To be suspended, expelled, or drop out of school.

    • Have more difficulty getting along with other children.

    • Develop poor relationships with teachers.

    • Truancy often leads to removal from school.

    • Many FAS (FASD) children stay in school but due to their behaviors they may have negative experiences.

  • Trouble with the Law Statistically Teenagers and adults with FAS (FASF) are more likely to have interactions with police, authorities, or the judicial system. Difficulty controlling anger and frustration, combined with problems understanding the motives of others, result in many individuals with FAS being involved in violent or explosive situations. People with FAS can be very easy to persuade and manipulate, which can lead to their taking part in illegal acts without being aware of it.

  • Inappropriate Sexual Behavior A person with FAS (FASD) are more likely to exhibit inappropriate sexual behavior, such as inappropriate advances and inappropriate touching. Being a victim of violence increases the risk of participating in sexually inappropriate behavior.

  • Alcohol and Drug Problems Some studies suggest that more than a third of individuals with FAS have had problems with alcohol or drugs, with more than half requiring inpatient treatment.

  • Dependent Living and Problems with Employment Over 21 Years - Adults with FAS generally have difficulty sustaining employment or living independently as productive members of their communities.

  • Problems with Parenting A person with FAS (FASD) and also suffers from secondary conditions are more likely to become parents compared people who do not have FAS.

    • A person who has FAS may have poor judgment and poor impulse control as a result of primary brain dysfunction. These factors, combined with a secondary condition of alcohol dependence, may result in unprotected sex and pregnancy.

    • People with FAS who become parents are more likely to have a history of having lived in unstable homes, more likely to have been homeless, more likely to have run away from home, and more likely to have experienced domestic violence compared to individuals with FAS who do not become parents.

Streissguth, A.P., Barr, H.M., Kogan, J. & Bookstein, F. L., "Understanding the Occurrence of Secondary Disabilities in Clients with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE)," Final Report to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), August, 1996, Seattle: University of Washington, Fetal Alcohol & Drug Unit, Tech. Rep. No. 96-06, (1996).

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