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Fetal alcohol syndrome: The invisible disorder


When a pregnant woman drinks, she risks giving birth to a child with a broad range of health problems, including brain damage. People with fetal alcohol exposure are an invisible population -- underserved and misunderstood.

  • Playtime with mom'It's like we're raising drunk kids'
    When a pregnant woman drinks, she risks giving birth to a child with a broad range of health problems, including permanent brain damage. Children and adults with fetal alcohol exposure are an invisible population -- underserved and misunderstood.September 7, 2007
  • Matt and momPart 2: Diagnosing FASD is tricky
    Despite decades of research, there are still many questions about fetal alcohol disorders. Children exposed to alcohol in the womb are often misdiagnosed with other conditions.September 7, 2007
  • Hunter SargentPart 3: Living with FASD as an adult
    Many people assume that Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders affect only children, but it's a lifetime disease. Advocates say once a child with FASD turns 18, most of the safety nets disappear and a vast new set of challenges emerge.September 7, 2007
  • Video games as therapyPart 4: How to educate kids with FASD
    Most public schools in the U.S. don't know how to deal with FASD students. Until recently, colleges and universities that train teachers didn't pay much attention to FASD.September 7, 2007
  • Playing footballPart 5: Some help is there for parents and teachers
    In South Dakota, two education advocates are assigned specifically to help children with FASD to succeed in school. They hold workshops around the state to help parents, educators and FASD students learn how to help each other.September 7, 2007
  • Adoptive motherPart 6: It's 100 percent preventable
    It's estimated the nation spends close to $4 billion annually to care for children and adults with fetal alcohol syndrome. That includes costs in health care, social services and prisons.September 6, 2007
  • CuriosityA reporter's notebook
    Reporter Cara Hetland shares some of her thoughts about covering this story.September 5, 2007
  • Leann and Shelby OrtmanInternational adoptions bring more alcohol-exposed kids to U.S.
    In the U.S. and countries around the world, children are born each day to mothers who drank alcohol while they were pregnant. As more American families adopt children from other countries, doctors say they are seeing more cases of fetal alcohol syndrome.October 2, 2007
  • Antone familyAlcohol exposure affects generations on Indian reservations
    The incidence of fetal alcohol syndrome, or FAS, among American Indians is 30 times higher than among whites. Indians in Minnesota say fetal alcohol damage is causing huge problems. Some say it's the No. 1 problem facing Indian communities.October 22, 2007
  • Billy and JoeAdults with fetal alcohol syndrome face huge challenges
    Problems associated with fetal alcohol syndrome don't end when children grow up. There are hundreds of thousands of adults across the country affected by the disorder. They often have poor judgment and struggle just to survive.November 21, 2007
  • Fetal heart monitoringNew science on fetal alcohol exposure
    New research and studies seek to answer questions about how alcohol affects a fetal brain. The goal is to diagnose children with fetal alcohol syndrome earlier.December 3, 2007
  • Behind barsIs there justice for people with fetal alcohol brain damage?
    Pregnant women who drink alcohol risk giving birth to children with permanent brain damage. As these kids grow up, many get in trouble with the law. Experts say the country's justice system is ill-equipped to deal fairly with fetal alcohol offenders.December 20, 2007
  • Fetal heart monitorFetal alcohol spectrum disorder and the brain
    Though much more is known about fetal alcohol disorders, stigma and misunderstanding persist, even in the medical community. Only recently have physicians tried to figure out what happens to fetal brains when a pregnant woman drinks.Midmorning, December 19, 2007
  • Caitlyn BosleyFrom the parents: Raising FAS kids
    Symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome can differ from child to child, but parents and caregivers often have similar experiences raising these kids. They share those experiences.December 20, 2007
  • Gather.com discussion
    How can we better prevent and treat fetal alcohol disorders?

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