Is FAE Milder Than FAS?

Let me ask forgiveness to start. I am about to get on my soap box. My son is diagnosed FAE. They didn't say FAS, almost but not all the way. Nope, they read everything his 18 year old bio mom drank, huffed, snorted, swallowed, and the times the only way to get high was to choke herself. When she poured Lysol through bread to get drunk. They said ooops not enough physical signs to be FAS.

He was drunk at birth the record says, he did have failure to thrive according to the visiting IHS nurse. His Mother sold his WIC coupons to buy booze and drugs. she fed him nonfat dry milk and water. His head is flat because he laid in a baby carrier 23 of 24 hours a day. His hearing is borderline due to nerve damage He didn't roll over until he was 7 months, and then only because the Mom he has now patterned him till he learned. He couldn't sit up by himself until 16 months. He has an anxiety disorder that even after living with us for nearly 9 years, makes him call home every day from school.

Yes he is not FAS, but all that means is he hasn't got enough of the physical signs. He has 6 clinical diagnoses besides FAE.

When a child is FAS and people see them, they understand some of the problems. I have a handsome Native American child who doesn't know why he eats, thinks and does some things but is proud to be Native American; who is kind, sensitive, helpful and would give my house away if someone said they needed it. This is also the kid who has had his bedroom window replaced 7 times due to rages, spray painted my neighbors headlights when said neighbor didn't put the paint away. scratched a long scratch in other neighbor's new car. I have paid for more damage in Eldon's short life the I paid for all 5 of my other children.

As long as we let people believe FAE is milder than FAS, our children suffer. Eldon hopes nobody is "like me ever again - I wish I wasn't born." We work constantly on how much better the world is because he is here. Anyone who lives with any child with any amount of alcohol damage knows only the doctors need 2 different names for the same damage. Again sorry if I ruffled any feathers but the only child who is safe is the one whose Mom drank NO ALCOHOL. Any one else want to borrow the soap box, be my guest.



Neuropsychology 1998 Jan;12(1):146-53 (ISSN: 0894-4105)
Mattson SN; Riley EP; Gramling L; Delis DC; Jones KL
Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, California 92120, USA.

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is associated with behavioral and cognitive deficits. However, the majority of children born to alcohol-abusing women do not meet the formal criteria for FAS and it is not known if the cognitive abilities of these children differ from those of children with FAS. Using a set of neuropsychological tests, 3 groups were compared: (a) children with FAS, (b) children without FAS who were born to alcohol-abusing women (the PEA group), and (c) normal controls. The results indicated that, relative to controls, both the FAS and the PEA groups were impaired on tests of language, verbal learning and memory, academic skills, fine-motor speed, and visual-motor integration. These data suggest that heavy prenatal alcohol exposure is related to a consistent pattern of neuropsychological deficits and the degree of these deficits may be independent of the presence of physical features associated with FAS.
Return to FAS Community Resource Center