FASlink Fetal Alcohol Disorders Society
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome / Fetal Alcohol Effects:
A Positive Look at Learning Characteristics
Sally Caldwell
E-mail: sally@mostlysunny.com
  1. Needs to move slowly through material (tracking difficulty/ slow cognitive pace)
  2. Don't underestimate creative intelligence,
  3. Needs visual/kinesthetic cues to help him orient; he might do best with classroom decorations and seating being the same and undisturbed; environmentally cued (visual/kinesthetic hypersensitivity)
  4. Stronger in deductive logic in problem-solving (impaired predictive skills); encourage him to be responsible for saying what works best, can select from a narrow range of options and can use metaphor to problem-solve
  5. Needs limited stimuli (distractability/over-sensitivity to stimulus); interruptions thwart efforts to complete a task (poor impulse control)
  6. Following verbal Instructions may be weak (audio processing deficit); difficult abstracting
  7. Avoid frequent changes from one kind of activity to another, from one kind of thinking to another (state rigidity)
  8. Needs encouragement on simple tasks (easily frustrated); needs positive feedback (low self-confidence)
  9. Needs re-teaching (memory deficit).
  10. Needs predictability (sequencing impairment); schedule dependent
  11. Allow him to express frustration when standard approaches don't work; give him visual / kinesthetic aids; allow him to choose what he will gravitate toward.
Bibliography Weiner, L; Rosett, H.L; Edelin, K.C.; Alpert. J.J. Zuckerman. B: Alcohol consumption by pregnant women. Obset Gynecol 61:6-12 1983. Rosett, H.L.; Weiner, L; Lee, A.; Zuckerman, B.; Dooling, E; Oppenheimer, E: Patterns of alcohol consumption and fetal development. Obstet Gynecol 61:539-546. 1983. Rosett, H.L.; Weiner, L; Edelin, K.C.: Treatment experience with problem drinking pregnant women. J Am Med Assoc 249:2029-2033, 1983. Rosett, H.L. and Weiner, L: Alcohol and the Fetus: A Clinical Perspective. Oxford University Press, New York, 1984. ADDITIONAL READINGS Abel, E.L: The fetal alcohol syndrome: behavioral teratology. Psychol Sul 87:27-50, 1980. Ciba Foundation Symposium #105, Mechanisms of Alcohol Damage in Utero. Pitman, London, 1984. Clarren, S.K.; Smith, D.W.: The fetal alcohol syndrome. N Eng J Med 298:1063-1067, 1978. Ouellette, E.M.; Rosett, H.L; Rosman, N.P.; Weiner, L: The adverse effects on offspring of maternal alcohol abuse during pregnancy. N Eng J Med 297:528-530, 1977. Pratt, O.E.: The fetal alcohol syndrome: transport of nutrients and transfer of alcohol and acetaldehyde from mother to fetus. In Psychopharmacology of Alcohol, M. Sandler Ed., Raven Press, New York, 1980, pp. 229-256. Randall, C.L: Alcohol as teratogen in animals. In Blomedical Processes and Consequences of Alcohol Use, Alcohol and Health Monograph 2 DDHS 1982 pp. 291-307. Riley, E.P.: Ethanol as a behavioral teratogen, animal models. In Biomedical and Consequences of Alcohol Use, Alcohol and Health Monograph 2. DDHS 1982, pp. 311-332. Sokol, R.J.: Alcohol and abnormal outcomes of pregnancy. Can Med Assoc J 125:143-148, 1981. Warner, R.H.; Rosett, H.L: The effects of drinking on offspring: - an historical survey of the American and British literature. J Stud Alcohol 36:1395-1420. 1975.