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Module 4: FASD Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms: 6-11 Years

Many children with an FASD are not diagnosed until they reach school, because teachers are the first to spot problems. Difficulties that become apparent during this time can include:

    Child having temper tantrum
  • Significant motor and cognitive deficits
  • Uneven development
  • Learning problems
  • Short-term memory problems
  • Attention deficits
  • Tendency to be led by others
  • Speech and language deficits, particularly with comprehension, social communication, and understanding both literal and nonliteral expressions
  • Trouble communicating needs
  • Problems following multiple directions
  • Problems with boundaries, such as touching people inappropriately
  • Sensory integration deficits
  • Clumsiness
  • Visual and perceptual difficulties
  • Disorganization and hyperactivity
  • Poor peer relationships
  • Lying or stealing
  • Quick temper and tantrums
  • Problems connecting cause and effect
  • Disobedience and defiance of authority
  • Poor understanding of social rules and expectations

Verbal functioning and rote language skills are often less affected than areas such as math or reading comprehension, which require abstract thinking  and memory. Problems are often not fully detected until third or fourth grade. At this time, the school and community expect children to understand abstract meanings in both academic work and social behavior. For example, children begin to use abstract concepts for math and story problem solutions.

Children in this age range also are easily influenced. They have trouble with cause and effect, so they have difficulty predicting and understanding consequences. They appear to have abilities they actually lack. The combination of academic deficits and behavioral and social problems that begin to emerge can lead to disaster in adolescence without ongoing support.

MultimediaVideo: Describes techniques to transition a child's activities and avoid temper tantrums.

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