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Module 4: FASD Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms: Preschool Period

During the preschool period, behavioral effects are usually more apparent than cognitive deficits.2 However, Suzanne Kuerschner, an FAS educator/consultant, has noted consistent cognitive difficulties in some preschoolers. These include difficulty with colors, rote counting, and letter recognition.5

In addition, problems may be seen that exceed the norm for this age group, such as:

Images of preschool age children
  • Hyperactivity

  • Attention deficits and distractibility

  • Perceptual problems

  • Low frustration tolerance

  • Trouble organizing own play

  • Language problems

  • Poor motor coordination

  • Lack of physical boundaries, such as touching people inappropriately

  • Abuse issues

  • Loss and grief issues

  • Overly friendly behavior

  • Difficulty following instructions

  • Temper tantrums and disobedience

  • Toilet training delays

Lack of physical boundaries and overly friendly behavior may be overlooked as cute when the child is young. However, this can become dangerous for the child and challenging for parents and other caregivers. Inability to recognize who is safe and familiar and who is not can be cause for concern, especially in the long term. It is important that caregivers teach positive behaviors with an eye toward what would be appropriate habits in the future.

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