Friday, June 13, 2008

Understanding FASD: Secondary Behaviors

In the first blog of this series Understanding FASD: Some of the Basics The Video presented went over some of the basic scientific research and statistical information about the effects of alcohol on an unborn baby.

When the issues of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome - FAS first became an issue of public awareness it was assumed that the most sever damage of a mothers alcohol use while pregnant was shown in certain facial features and other physical signs. Over the years since Prenatal Alcohol Effect were first identified further scientific research has proven that in many cases a baby exposed to alcohol may suffer neurological and other damage without the facial and physical signs being present.

As the years have passed and science along with parents have made note of the deficits some alcohol exposed children display it has become more clear that a child may suffer equal deficits without the physical signs. In fact, it has been determined that many Fetal Alcohol Syndrome FAS children meeting the criteria of showing the physical signs also suffer slightly lower IQ's which in some cases might be a blessing...

As Makala's doctor recently discussed with me, It is the mere fact that Makala has a slightly higher IQ then many FAS children, however that IQ and her ability to Think in some ways makes it more difficult as a parent. Where an FAS child might display the same negative behaviors they may lack the ability to think of new ways to accomplish and impulsive behavior. This means that in some cases the child's behavior is more predictable. Add a few IQ points to the situation and the child may have more tools to work with. This might mean that the parents are able to predict the behaviors but are constantly unsure of just what way the child might try to accomplish an impulsive goal.

My daughter has an IQ of 82 which is just about 10 points higher than the average child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome FAS which means she has just that much more to work with when it comes to getting what she wants and that Right side-Left side brain connection to impulse and rules connections.

My daughter has very few outward physical indications that she is a child with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders FASD, but her neurological testing in combination with the clear Secondary Behavior issues makes it possible for anyone viewing the video below to confirm there is no doubt her primary disability is caused by her birth mother's choice to use alcohol and drugs while pregnant.

I will be writing several blogs about FASD and Secondary Behaviors in the future as these issues appear to be most frustrating not only for parents, teachers and therapists but most of all for the FASD child.

Below is the second video of the this series of Really Scientific Information. This video outlines several studies about children with FASD and some of the secondary behavior issues FASD Children face and some of the research about FAS with physical signs and the difference found with FASD who do not show the physical symptoms of prenatal alcohol exposure. This video goes in depth about secondary behaviors.

Offered as part of the public domain this video is 11:44 long I suggest that you first download the video and then pull the view back to the beginning in order to have the bast sound quality.

Video Credits:

  • Produced by:
    Lecturer/Dr. Ed Riley
    Department of Psychology
    San Diego State University
    Center for Behavior Teratology
    6363 Alverado Court, Suite 209
    San Diego, Ca 92120

  • Editor:
    Dr. Carrie Randall
    Medical University of South Carolina
    Institute of Psychiatry
    Center for Drug & Alcohol Programs
    171 Ashley Avenue
    Charleston, SC 29425-0742

Understanding FASD Series:

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