Sept. 9 marks an essential date on the health and well-being calendar – Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day. This observance serves as a timely reminder of the potentially severe and irreversible consequences of drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
Drinking while pregnant exposes an unborn child to significant risks – most notably, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Characteristics of this condition include a combination of physical abnormalities and cognitive or intellectual challenges that can make everyday tasks daunting.
While FASD’s physical manifestations are typically more pronounced in children, its cognitive and behavioral effects often persist into adulthood. The severity of FASD varies based on the frequency and amount of alcohol intake during pregnancy.
Adults with FASD may grapple with a range of challenges, making it difficult for them to participate in society. The difficulty in diagnosing FASD in adults often stems from its varied symptoms and their overlap with other conditions.
Physical traits that are more evident in children, such as reduced body weight or a smaller head size, often become subtler in adulthood. However, adults with FASD may still wrestle with:
- Challenges in hand-eye coordination.
- Persistent sleep disturbances.
- Hypersensitivity to external stimuli.
- Motor skills impairment.
- Behavioral problems, such as hyperactivity, impulsivity and aggression.
- Difficulties in communication, social interaction and learning.
- Mental and behavioral health disorders.
- Substance use disorders.
- Academic difficulties, leading to poor school performance.
- Challenges in securing and maintaining meaningful employment.
- Struggles with independent living.
Living With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
While there is no definitive cure for FASD, there’s hope. Many adults with FASD find support with targeted treatment plans. Engaging with a therapist who has experience treating FASD can offer tremendous support. These professionals help clients bolster their self-worth, establish healthy boundaries and process unresolved traumas from living in an environment marked by alcohol abuse.
People with FASD should feel empowered to recognize their strengths instead of focusing on their limitations. By doing so, they can start leading more fulfilling lives that acknowledge and address their unique challenges.
Begin Your Faith-Focused Recovery Journey at Celebrate Hope
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day is a call to action. By understanding the profound impacts of drinking during pregnancy, we can better support and uplift those living with FASD and work toward a future where every child is born free from the burdens of alcohol-induced disorders.
If you are pregnant or hoping to become pregnant and need help to stop drinking, Celebrate Hope is here for you. As a Christian treatment program in Orange County, we have provided Christ-centered care for 15 years. Addiction can happen to anyone, even profoundly religious people. We provide an environment of love, support and faith where adults can break the cycle of addictive behavior. Reach out to us to request help today.