Noah is nine years old and in the second class. He was considered to be in the third grade this year, but he has had regular enigmas learning in school. His attention duration is not what other kids’ are, and in fact, he suffers from little mental retardation. In addition, inferior hearing also hinders his performance at school. And it could all have been prevented if his mother had not drunk — and drunk heavily — while pregnant with her child.

There’s a reason that doctors tell pregnant women not to drink alcohol during their pregnancy. There are several known neurological, physical, and mental issues that can cause if you drink alcohol during this period. These disorders all lie in the category known as FASD: “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.” The best known of these issues are Fetal Alcohol Effects (or “FAE”) and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (or “FAS”). Within the category of Fetal Alcohol Effects are two sub-categories: Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (or “ARND”) and Alcohol-Related Birth disorders (or “ARBD”).

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a tragic condition since it is totally curable. FAS causes mental retardation in the child, deformities in the skeleton and some parts, growth deficiencies, poor motor skills, problems with the nervous system, understanding problems, insufficiency in the attention span, and with talking, hearing, and problem-solving. It can also cause death.

FAS also known to cause certain facial features in the baby. Some of these include an upturned or short nose, smaller than normal eyes, thin lips, and flat cheeks. While these features will go away over time, most of the other difficulties will last throughout the child’s lifetime.

As mentioned, Fetal Alcohol Effects come in two major categories. These are Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder and Alcohol-Related Birth Defects. The first category (ARND) refers to conduct and mental problems such as poor output at school, learning disabilities, insufficient impulse control, memory problems, and problems with judgment and giving heed span. The second category (or ARBD) refers to skeletal malformations, and also deformities in major organs (the kidneys, heart, auditory system, or even the bones).

While related, Fetal Alcohol Effects are not similar to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. FAE results from a moderate amount of drinking during the pregnancy. FAS results from an extreme amount of drinking alcohol throughout the pregnancy, including drinking on a daily basis or binge drinking. Regardless of whether it’s FAS or FAE, the results are still lifelong, irreversible, and tragic. The reason is that it is not safe to drink any alcohol while pregnant–period. However, the more you drink, the more you put your baby in danger.

So how do the mom-to-be prevent Fetal Alcohol Effects and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome? It’s quite obvious: She must abstain from all alcohol while pregnant. If she does this, there is no chance — zero — of having a child with either FAE or FAS.

To find out more about this particular subject, call (800) 666-6327. That’s the number for the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and they would be delighted to remind you of information.

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