What is the Treatment for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2019
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Fetal alcohol syndrome cannot typically be cured, but some of its symptoms can be treated, especially if detected early in life. For example, heart defects that often include a hole or murmur may be treated with surgery. Other physical symptoms, such as hearing and vision loss, can often be treated by hearing aids and glasses. Of course, there are usually mental issues related to drinking during pregnancy, such as retardation, learning disabilities, and difficulty with reasoning. The typical treatment for fetal alcohol syndrome symptoms like these includes special classes in school, as well as social services early on.

One of the most common symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome is a heart defect. This may include a murmur, which is a fairly mild abnormality that some otherwise healthy kids also have. On the other hand, some babies with fetal alcohol syndrome may suffer from ventricular septal defect, which describes a hole in the wall between the right and left ventricles. Another possible issue associated with fetal alcohol syndrome is atrial septal defect, in which the wall between the upper chambers does not close. Such defects may be solved with surgery, but this type of treatment for fetal alcohol syndrome issues is often considered complex, and is not always successful.


There are other types of treatment for fetal alcohol syndrome physical symptoms, as well. For example, the ears may be deformed at birth, leading to hearing loss during infancy. This can be solved with hearing aids, as well as plastic surgery to change the appearance of the ears if necessary. Vision loss is another common symptom of this disease, often requiring glasses at an early age. While there is treatment for fetal alcohol syndrome physical symptoms like these, some cannot typically be fixed, such as an unusually small head or body.

Some of the most worrisome symptoms of this disease are mental issues. For instance, mental retardation, delays in speech and language, and learning disabilities are just a few of the main issues. These often require years of treatment from an early age, such as behavioral management coaching, as well as counseling on how to deal with stress. Additionally, children should be offered customized treatment for fetal alcohol syndrome once they start school, as they often require special classes in order to reach the typical milestones for their age. Special education classes can allow them to succeed in school despite their learning disabilities, hyperactivity, and inability to reason normally.


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