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What Educators Need to Know About FAS - Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

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If you happen to be working with a child who has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome then you probably already know that you will need to be very flexible with your expectations. It is not uncommon for a child with FAS to have been placed in many foster homes or to have issues that relate not only from being in a dysfunctional alcoholic family but also from the upheaval and trauma caused by the changing environments placed upon them. They may be lucky and have just one foster home, however, it's more often the case that they have many. They may also be victims of either emotional, physical or social abuse. They have usually been exposed to very unstable environments and have been inflicted with pains that multiply their needs beyond that of just having FAS. The bottom line is, these children need a great deal of support.

Here is what you'll notice with a student who has FAS:

  • Demanding of a great deal of one to one attention.
  • Doesn't tend to obey boundaries.
  • Doesn't often distinguish right from wrong.
  • Doesn't often care about dangerous or high risk situations, can be very daring.
  • Rarely stays on task.
  • Fidgits frequently, has a need to keep their hands busy.
  • Coordination is often off and jugements are weak.
  • Academic skills are often quite low.
  • Social skills are weak and they often have friends that are similar to themselves.
  • Great deal of difficulty focusing attention
  • Is prone to anger outbreaks, tantrums, yelling or becoming extremly upset.
  • Self esteem is very low.
  • Tries to fit in but often doesn't and will end up in the 'wrong crowds' as they will steal, cheat, lie etc. to fit in with a group.
  • Lacks fear and will therefore engage in dagerous behaviors.
  • Impulse control is often non-existent.
  • As they get older, they often neglect their hygenic needs.
  • It is not unusual for the FAS child to max out at about a 3rd or 4th grade academic level and remain there for their entire lives. (This may differ with a strong family setting and a great deal of support)

See How To Support a Child with FAS

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