Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Last Friday for my substance abuse class, my group and I gave our presentation on family issues relating to substance abuse.  I must say, I think this was one of the best group presentations I have given so far in the program.  There were four of us total in the group and we each researched a specific topic relating to the umbrella theme.  To start out the presentation, we decided to get a little creative and we role played a mock intervention based on A&E’s popular television show, Intervention.  One of my group mates assumed the role of the alcoholic mother, another group mate played her enabling husband, I portrayed the “lost child” daughter, and our final group mate played the role of the interventionist.  However, the best part of the presentation was the move clip that we showed first: a homemade documentary highlighting the drinking problem of our alcoholic mother.

As we dimmed the lights, rolled the movie, and the Intervention theme song reverberated through the classroom, I think it is safe to say that we captured everyone’s attention.  After the short documentary clip ended, our alcoholic mother came storming into the classroom, fully dressed for the part holding a martini glass, for the long-awaited intervention.  As her enabling husband and I read our heart-wrenching letters of why she should get help, she eventually agreed to treatment.

While we certainly had fun with the creative aspect to our presentation, I do not want to send the wrong message that we were making light of substance abuse within the family context.  Having a family member that is affected by drug or alcohol dependence is a very serious issue that has a multitude of consequences on the whole family and its structure.  For my part of the presentation I focused on children of alcoholics and specifically I researched Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.  I found some interesting information that I thought I would share with you guys.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) refers to a group of conditions that are caused by maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy.  The effects of FASD can include physical, mental, behavioral, and learning impairments and they can range in severity based on the timing and dosage of alcohol consumption.  Obviously, the more alcohol is consumed the greater the risk for more damage.  The most severe Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which is characterized by the following symptoms: prenatal or postnatal growth retardation (height and weight under the 10th percentile), central nervous system abnormalities and brain damage, cognitive deficits, learning disabilities, behavioral impairments, and facial malformations.  I have included a picture below depicting the typical facial malformations.  Basically, what happens in FASD’s is that when alcohol is consumed during pregnancy, the alcohol crosses the placenta and enters the system of the fetus where it acts as a toxin and results in damage to the developing brain and body.

One of the most interesting things that I came across while doing my research was that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome went unrecognized until the 1970’s.  It was not until 1981 that the Surgeon General advised that women should not consume alcohol during pregnancy because of the risks of birth defects.  As a result, until that time many women had no idea that the consumption of alcohol while pregnant could have detrimental effects on their children.  I watched a really interesting documentary about a group of mothers whose lack of awareness and education to the effects of alcohol during pregnancy resulted in the births of their children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  I urge you all to check it out if you have time, as it was really eye opening to hear their stories and gain an understanding to the importance of psychoeducation.

About agareaumspp

Hi! My name is Ashley Gareau and I am a first year student in the Master’s in Counseling Psychology program at MSPP. I graduated from Lafayette College in May of 2009 with a B.A. in Psychology and moved to the Boston area shortly thereafter. Following my undergrad years I assumed a position at Children’s Hospital Boston working as an Administrative Assistant for one of the physicians. While working at Children’s I spent a lot of time volunteering with patients on the organ transplant unit and discovered a passion for health psychology. Alas, I decided to attend graduate school for counseling and I have hopes of applying to Psy.D programs when I am done with my master’s. When I’m not studying or doing work (which is rare these days!) I can be found doing yoga, knitting, playing with my dog, or spending time with my family and friends. Also, I absolutely love the outdoors and try to ski, hike, and bike as much as I can! Welcome to my blog and I look forward to sharing my journey through graduate school with you all!
This entry was posted in Counseling Psychology, Personal Growth, Social Responsibility. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

  1. Hi there to every body, it’s my first pay a quick visit of this webpage;
    this webpage contains amazing and truly fine information in favor of visitors.

  2. Why use Hostgator Web Hosting to host your website. Paypal and debit are the best methods of payment for web
    hosting service. 5000 Fastest Growing America Companies and top among all hosting companies.

  3. Hi! I’ve been following your site for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead
    and give you a shout out from Huffman Tx! Just
    wanted to say keep up the excellent work!

  4. Alcoholism Rehab can help sommeone who is suffering from Alcoholism get
    the help that they need to get sober. This iis not a simple job as these facilities require money.
    Therefore, the answer is yes. Choosing between so many <. There are many programs out there for those who abuse substances. Therapy can help them see why they have problems with alcohol and why they actually feel that they have a need to drink to solve their problems. It is often difficult to detect if a person is an alcoholic because they may have been drinking and yet doing all the work and activities that any normal person does. Alcoholism symptoms actually vary from one person to the next.

  5. Ronald says:

    The medical analysis performed by the alcohol rehabilitation facilty is meant
    to help the staff identify any physical problems the particular person which has an alcoholism may have.

    Read Valerie Bertnelli 40 Pound Weight Loss. Alcohol addiction
    has become a universal trouble inn today’s world. This estimated cost was 19 times more than the amount collected from taxes on the sale of alcohol.
    If this is the case, the program developed to help the individual
    will also include a program to deal with this problem.
    According to “Who’s Dated Who,” Zambora has
    been links to Courtney Cox, Bekka Bramlett, Cher, Ally Sheedy, Heather Locklear and Denise Richards.
    However, should you be in this situation,
    do not give up on the thought of entering rehab for your addiction.
    If your loved ones has also become the victim of such a torment, the best thing you can do
    for him her is to get him her acknowledged in alcoholism rehab center with this faith that dipsomania or some other drug rehab will sure work for them to return
    to their normal life.

  6. Alcoholism rehab using inpatient facilities is expensive as it uses a structured environment providing total care.

    These services are all focused on providing the person
    the tools they require to achieve long term sobriety.
    Sometimes, they need to be told that alcohol and drugs are ruining their lives.
    Consistent behavior – Normally, periodic or non-frequent
    binge drinking (binge drinking being defined
    as consuming 4 or more alcoholic drinks in a short period of time) is not a sign of alcoholism.

    New treatment facilities are now opening at an alarming rate.

    Christians apply this value and work to help people turn their lives around when things are not going well.

    If you have a drug or alcohol problem the <. If your loved ones has also become the victim of such a torment, the best thing you can do for him her is to get him her acknowledged in alcoholism rehab center with this faith that dipsomania or some other drug rehab will sure work for them to return to their normal life.

  7. However, if the binge drinking behavior is consistent and
    frequent (meaning, more than once per week) then that person may have
    an alcoholism problem. These services are all focused on providing the person the tools they require to achieve long term sobriety.
    Therefore, the answer is yes. While the idea
    of going to an alcohol rehab may not be gratifying to the item by item concerned, it should be made known that federal agencies like this are
    always ready to help and assist the dependants to recuperate from this
    addiction. I had an alcoholic in my life. ” That rehab back in John’s time included service work like washing floors. The first thing you have to ask yourself which of these types of drug rehab programs make you the most comfortable and then make a decision. Certainly, this technique is very effective because you can obtain something in a short period of time.

Comments are closed.