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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:17 PM EDT
You've heard of fetal alcohol syndrome, but most people don't truly understand it.

One local center is trying to get a better handle on the condition.

As News 13's Jay Siltzer shows us in today's Health Alert, that might lead to earlier diagnoses and care.

There's no handbook, you don't know what's going to happen.

No one knows that better than Linda Coleman who has spent years trying to better understand the condition of her adopted daughter, India.

Dr. William Allen, Fullerton Genetics Center, "fetal alcohol syndrome is not one specific condition, it's really a spectrum of findings."

Sally Bennett, LCSW, Clinic Coordinator, "we see that kids often have a delay in their social and emotional development."

All those factors apply to India, a diminutive 17 year old.

Linda Coleman, India's mother, "she doesn't do anything automatically or just because it's innate. She has to be shown... Someone described her as a 30-second child in a five-second world; it just takes longer for her to process and learn."

Bennett, "the average age a child with FAS spectrum disorder gets diagnosed is around 10."

India was diagnosed long before then because of her classic signs, but most children with the condition have only a few symptoms and are often misdiagnosed with ADHD or some other disorder.

Still, there's no curing FAS, just preventing it by making sure pregnant moms avoid alcohol at all cost.Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

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