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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is three times more prevalent than autism


The Center for Disease Control estimates that up to one out of 20 (that’s 5%) Americans suffers from the effects of exposure to alcohol in utero.

A recent research in 4 communities estimated that the numbers are on average about 6.5 percent. 

One of twenty is a lot of people. It can be any of your students or clients or friends and loved ones.  

There is no amount of alcohol that is considered safe for a fetus. The consequences are very broad, and may include, among other things,  

  • Poor memory
  • Poor reasoning, judgment, organization and planning skills
  • Difficulties with attention, hyperactivity
  • Learning disabilities, difficulty in school (often with math)
  • Speech and language delays
  • Poor coordination
  • Impulsivity
  • Anxiety

The list is longer, but I specifically wanted to touch on those elements that HANDLE can address. My colleagues and I have worked with people with FASD and we’ve seen improvements. Sometimes dramatic ones.

How do we address these elements? Gently, respectfully, non-judgmentally, and with an individually tailored home program of movement activities. Specifically, activities that address interhemispheric integration are an important component.  

Other supports need to be in place, such as regular routines, physical and mental health care, understanding that learning from consequences doesn’t really work, advocacy, watching out for bullies, addressing the learning disabilities and making accommodations as needed in the school curriculum. One of my favorite resources is www.FASDNorCal.org.

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