Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

One In One Thousand

Approximately 1 in 1,000 children are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. That's an estimated 40,000 children each year. FAS is the leading cause of mental retardation in the United States and is also the only completely preventable birth defect.


Students with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome may be small for their age and have a small size head for their age, have large or malformed ears, poor eye-hand coordination, and hearing problems. Common facial characteristics include short eye slits, widely spaced eyes, crossed eyes, a short upturned nose, a thin upper lip, and a small underdeveloped jaw. Those with FAS can have developmental delays, attention problems, poor memory and mathematical skills, difficulty with abstract concepts, and speech troubles.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: In The Classroom

Teaching Tips

Educators need to provide as much structure as possible for students with FAS. They should be consistent in their responses and daily routine. Since students with FAS have trouble paying attention, instructions and explanations should be brief. Repetition can be a key factor in getting through to students with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Students Like Me: Episode 1 of 9