Topic Overview

To help your toddler or school-age child who has effects from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD):

  • Take your child to routine doctor visits.
  • Provide a structured home environment. Children with FASD do best in a home that has a defined routine and structure. The rules for the family (What is a PDF document?) need to be clear and frequently repeated for the child.
  • Enroll your child in an early-intervention program as soon as possible.
  • Contact your provincial and local education departments about your child's right to get help at school.
  • Help your child learn appropriate behaviour. If your child has attention problems, has difficulty controlling his or her impulses, and is overactive, he or she may benefit from the same treatment measures that are appropriate for children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), such as behaviour management and social skills training.
  • Encourage your child's independence. Help your child learn cause and effect by role-playing situations with different reactions and outcomes.
  • Encourage learning skills. Provide learning experiences using things your child can touch (tactile strategies) and things he or she can do (kinesthetic strategies). Your child's memory may improve if he or she uses a computer or tape recorder instead of simply listening and taking handwritten notes in class.
  • Talk to teachers and other people who are involved in your child's life. Tell them how they can best help your child.
  • Call your doctor if you think your child needs more help or if you notice new problems.

Related Information


Other Works Consulted

  • Senturias Y, Weitzman CC (2011). Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. In M Augustyn et al., eds., Zuckerman Parker Handbook of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics for Primary Care, 3rd ed., pp. 213–217. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Ernest L. Abel, PhD - Reproductive Toxicology

Current as ofNovember 20, 2015