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A professor of clinical pediatrics says the term "Fetal Alcohol Syndrome" does not go far enough in describing all of the possible effects of drinking while pregnant and may cause misunderstanding among pregnant women about the dangers.

Dr. Ira Chasnoff, president of the Children's Research Triangle and a professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago, says "Fetal Alcohol Syndrome" and "Fetal Alcohol Effects" are not strong enough definitions to describe the effects on children whose mothers drank while pregnant and their are too many misconceptions about those terms.

"Some people, even professionals such as educators, are of the misconception that FAS is only prevalent in minorities," Chasnoff told a workshop in Aberdeen, according to the Aberdeen News. "That's not the case, though, as white children can suffer as well. Because some don't believe that, though, it's hard to get those kids the needed services."

Chasnoff said he wants to see what is now known as fetal alcohol syndrome to "Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder" to expand the definition to include both fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and fetal alcohol effects (FAE). FAS is usually describes children with facial deformities and mental retardation, while FAE is associated with "milder" effects, such as hyperactivity and aggressive behavior.

"Pregnant women shouldn't drink any alcohol," Chasnoff said. "Even one drink a week can cause hyperactivity and aggressive behavior in a child."

More: Frequently Asked Questions about FAS | Alcohol and Pregnancy

May 6, 2009 at 3:31 pm
(1) lyns says:

i am so scared.i live in ireland.my son is over one year old.i drank really really heavy for just over two weeks of my pregnancy.ive just relized that i think he has it.f a s. i cant believe this.ive never heard of this.ive three kids and im scared if i say i will lose my children .but i must.he was born at twenty four weeks and i had a really bad delivery and he has been diagnosed with c p.sorry, i cant spell it.but he dosent need this in his life also

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