Prenatal Alcohol Exposure Equates to Impaired Social Skills

Alcohol and Pregnancy

Alcohol and pregnancy are like oil and water they just do not mix. Doctors warn women not to drink while they are pregnant due to the risk of their baby developing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). It’s estimated that each year in the United States, 1 in every 750 infants is born with a pattern of physical, developmental, and functional problems referred to as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), while another 40,000 are born with fetal alcohol effects (FAE). FAS is a condition in which a child can be born with physical deformities, mental retardation, learning difficulties and behavioral problems. The exact amount of alcohol that can cause fetal alcohol syndrome is unknown so any alcohol during pregnancy should be avoided at all cause. The physical deformities of FAS can be apparent but the behavioral problems associated with FAS aren’t as easy to diagnose.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome & Behavioral Problems

Some behavioral problems that stem from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome are hyperactivity, inability to concentrate, stubbornness, impulsiveness and anxiety. A recent study has shown that children with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (PAE) significantly lack social skills as compared to their non-PAE peers. Results from the study showed the following:

“The results of the study indicated that the children who had prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE), returned significantly poorer scores compared to the non-exposed group on tests measuring executive functioning (the processes that help us connect past experience with present action, the skills we use for organization and planning), attention, working/visuospatial memory, linguistic abstraction, adaptive behavior, emotional/behavioral functioning, and social cognition (understanding of why people do the things that they do).”

Results from the study also showed that PAE children showed more hostility in situations where there was no physical provocation made towards them. For example, if a PAE child was told “no” after asking if they can play – they became hostile. The parents of PAE children also showed hyperactivity and inattentiveness. The PAE children of such parents also showed depressive symptoms.

There’s still much to be studied about PAE children and how their parents and environments directly affect their development. With early detection PAE children should be able to learn how to curve their behavioral problems and learn how to interact properly in social settings with other children and adults in and out of the home.

If you or someone you know needs alcohol addiction treatment, give FHE Health a call at 1-844-299-0618.

 

 

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