Foetal alcohol syndrome
Foetal alcohol syndrome
Foetal alcohol syndrome refers to a series of physical, mental and growth symptoms and effects that may occur in a baby when the mother consumes alcohol during pregnancy. There is a high prevalence of foetal alcohol syndrome in adopted children, especially in Eastern Europe. The child may present a highly diverse range of difficulties that will depend on the severity of each case, meaning that it is not possible to generalise a standard treatment programme that is effective in all cases and making it important to carry out a personalised assessment.
Treatment in cases of foetal alcohol syndrome is based on specific measurements of each associated disorder, for example, for language, behaviour or hyperactivity problems, as well as educational actions (for example, curricular adaptations or special education resources). In general, speech therapy treatment, interventions to reinforce and adapt learning, early stimulation to promote psychomotor development, general support interventions, social protection interventions and adapted psychological and psychiatric treatments can be performed.
Psychoactive drugs and behavioural interventions are used when a behavioural disorder has been diagnosed. Each child’s prognosis is conditioned by the severity of neurodevelopmental problems, their socio-environmental milieu and specific therapeutic interventions, in addition to the disabilities they present.
In children with foetal alcohol syndrome, special attention must be paid to a series of functional disorders: learning problems, impaired motor development, hyperactivity, attention deficit, adaptive behaviour problems, mental retardation or other cognitive disorders, and disorders of executive function, language, memory or social integration and social communication. The most common manifestations of foetal alcohol syndrome are:
- Low birth weight
- The presence of malformations
- Characteristic facial features (microcephaly, low nasal bridge, epicanthic folds, short palpebral fissure, thin upper lip...)
- Cognitive disorders and attention deficit. Better verbal comprehension than expression, and language with little informative content
- Reduced learning and difficulties with memory and executive dysfunction
- Behavioural alterations: problems with behavioural regulation, hyperactivity, difficulties in social relationships
The Child Neuropsychological Intervention always takes place in individualised sessions which work individually with each child or young person.
In order to devise a child occupational therapy treatment programme adapted to the needs of each individual child, several key aspects are explored in the first sessions:
During the first sessions of child physiotherapy, we examine the child and collect all the data needed to set up a personalised programme, including an interview with the family to find out relevant aspects in order to establish the most appropriate plan for the child’s recovery:
Child speech therapy begins with an assessment involving a physical examination of the child and the administration of standardised tests and questionnaires.
Music therapy is one of the treatment options available at Guttmann Barcelona, for both adult and paediatric patients affected by neurological injuries or diseases at different stages within the rehabilitation process.