Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: A Guide for Families and Communitiesby Ann Streissguth
This widely used guidebook from expert Ann Streissguth explains how to identify and work with children and adults who have FAS and FAE and how to educate prospective mothers and society at large about this entirely preventable disorder.See more details below
This widely used guidebook from expert Ann Streissguth explains how to identify and work with children and adults who have FAS and FAE and how to educate prospective mothers and society at large about this entirely preventable disorder.
"Presents a comprehensive overview of the field that is aimed at professionals, families, and communities."
Description: This is a concise guide to better understanding the issues surrounding recognition and management of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Although targeted toward families affected by FAS, it is equally valuable reading for those who provide care in the professional setting.
Purpose: The book was written to be a "vehicle for parents and professionals to use in working together to help children with FAS/FAE." In addition, this work is a valuable reference for active investigators who have limited time or access to the large, diverse body of knowledge concerning FAS. By placing information from multiple disciplines into a single, readable source, the author has given us a work that truly enhances our appreciation of the need for and effectiveness of the transdisciplinary model.
Audience: The author's foreword indicates that her audience is "parents and professionals to use in working together." This book effectively reaches its target audience, providing current information and thought provoking insights for physicians, nurses, teachers, therapists, and advocates anyone who is actively involved in the care of persons with FAS/FAE. A coauthor on the seminal paper on FAS, the author is an internationally recognized investigator who has studied FAS for the past 25 years. Although much of her research has focussed on FAS among Native Americans, the information contained in this book is applicable to various populations.
Features: The book is visually appealing and contains a good balance between data derived from the basic and applied sciences. Each chapter begins with an anecdote concerning an experience of an individual living with the impact of FAS. These serve as the focal point around which the chapter's research and diagnostic and management issues are addressed. Each chapter is well annotated with citations that range from antiquity (e.g., the Scriptures) to the present, and even includes untranslated references, giving the interested reader a large body of information for further perusal.
Assessment: This is an excellent work. The author has compiled a concise, comprehensive treatment of FAS ranging from its history to diagnosis and management. The book is empathically yet quantitatively written and exposes the reader not only to "common sense" issues surrounding FAS, but also to data that provide the basis for one's approach to care. It provides content with context. In my own work with families and other professionals involved with FAS, I found this book to be extremely useful for its breadth and depth of coverage of the topic. This book is a must for the libraries of individuals who care for persons with birth or developmental disabilities. It should be among the reference materials of physicians, social workers, educators, community advocates, and support groups. Equally important, it should find its way into the libraries of institutions that train the next generation of professionals.
- Brookes, Paul H. Publishing Company
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
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- Product dimensions:
- 6.04(w) x 9.04(h) x 0.71(d)
Read an Excerpt
Overview of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
People with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) are born with it. FAS is a birth defect that has its primary effect on the brain. Some people with FAS are slightly affected and manifest only mildly dysfunctional behavior; others are severely affected, devastatingly disabled in their ability to cope with even simple day-to-day interactions. Each child with FAS has his or her own special needs, problems, and capabilities. FAS is a birth defect whether or not it is noticeable at birth. One does not outgrow FAS, although the manifestations may change with age. A bad environment (e.g., one in which there is abuse, neglect, or poverty) cannot cause FAS, just as a good environment (e.g., one with loving, caring parents) cannot fully undo it. A good environment and proper community supports, however, can protect the person with FAS from secondary disabilities, which can also be debilitating.
FAS is caused by prenatal alcohol exposure (see Figure 1.1) and is characterized by growth deficiency, a specific pattern of facial features, and some signs of CNS dysfunction.
PRENATAL ALCOHOL EXPOSURE CAN CAUSE A SPECTRUM OF EFFECTS
Prenatal alcohol exposure does not always result in FAS. Depending on the dose, timing, and conditions of exposure as well as on the individual characteristics of the mother and fetus, prenatal alcohol exposure can cause a range of disabling conditions. Some children are diagnosable with the full FAS; others have only partial manifestations, usually the CNS effects without the characteristic facial features or growth deficiency. Children who have only some of the characteristics of FAS (i.e., not enough for a full diagnosis) are often said to have fetal alcohol effects (FAE) or possible fetal alcohol effects (PFAE). These terms, although useful descriptively, have no specific differentiating criteria that would warrant their own diagnoses, even though these conditions can be just as debilitating as FAS. In 1996, the term alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND) was introduced by the Institute of Medicine (IOM, Stratton, Howe, & Battaglia). Focusing on the CNS characteristics (rather than on the growth deficiency and characteristic face), ARND is used congruently with FAE in this book. As these CNS effects can be caused by alcohol but are not unique to alcohol, the terms FAE, PFAE, and ARND are not appropriately used in the absence of a prenatal alcohol exposure history.
Research has shown that people with both FAS and those with FAE/PFAE/ARND experience many of the same kinds of problems growing up. Their families and communities also face many of the same kinds of challenges raising them. Therefore, this book frequently refers to these terms in the collective (i.e., FAS/FAE) in tacit recognition of the fact that it is the behavior problems caused by the prenatal damage from alcohol that present the primary challenge to treatment and management.
People with FAS/FAE, like everyone else, have a variety of talents and capabilities. They exhibit a wide range of intellectual levels and functional disabilities that probably reflect differing sites and degrees of prenatal brain damage due to different levels, patterns, and timing of prenatal alcohol exposure and individual differences in mothers and offspring. Despite their wide array of talents and abilities, many people with FAS exhibit some of the same general behavioral characteristics. They are usually trusting (even overly trusting), loving, and naive despite their years. They can also be grumpy, irritable, and rigid. As a result of their prenatal brain damage, they may have difficulty, especially as they mature, in evaluating a situation and using their past experiences to cope with the problems at hand. They seem to need more protection, supervision, and structure for a longer period of life than usual. Individuals with both FAS and FAE also vary widely i
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