Coping and supportBy Mayo Clinic staff
The psychological and emotional problems associated with fetal alcohol syndrome can be difficult to manage. Families and children with fetal alcohol syndrome may benefit greatly from the support of professionals and other families who have experience with fetal alcohol syndrome. Ask your doctor or public health nurse for local sources of support for families and children with fetal alcohol syndrome. If you know or suspect you have a problem with alcohol or other substances, ask a professional, such as a doctor or a psychologist, for advice.
As a parent of a child with fetal alcohol syndrome, you may find the following suggestions helpful in dealing with behavioral problems associated with the syndrome:
- Implement daily routines to which your child can become accustomed.
- Create and enforce simple rules and limits.
- Point out and use rewards to reinforce acceptable behavior.
- Because many children with fetal alcohol syndrome are vulnerable, guard against their being taken advantage of by others.
- Teach your child skills for daily living.
- Carefully chose who you ask to care for your child when you can't be there, because some behaviors may be difficult to manage.
A stable, nurturing home is the single most important factor in protecting children with FAS from some of the problems they're at risk of later in life, including drug abuse, dropping out of school and encounters with the juvenile justice system.
If you've given birth to a child with fetal alcohol syndrome, you may benefit from substance abuse counseling and treatment programs that can help you overcome your misuse of alcohol.
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- Understanding fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Getting a diagnosis. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. http://fasdcenter.samhsa.gov/documents/WYNKDiagnosis_5_colorJA_new.pdf. Accessed March 30, 2011.