For many of us the image above will not mean much, you will either take it or leave it, or maybe instead you will prefer a glass of wine or even a spirit.
I have to be honest I have never really given the amount of alcohol that I drink a thought, How much alcohol can you drink before you become drunk or worse still not in control of your actions? I have so far been lucky that I have not got any tales of woe from over drinking. However, I have found a handy self assessment tool here and it suggests that I should cut down, have a quick look yourself and see what it recommends for you.
Why am I talking about alcohol? sadly it has been on my mind all week (maybe a sign) because I had attended a conference early this week at the Institute of Child Health in London. The subject was about Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders a subject I have to be honest about prior to the conference, I was not particularly confident on. Furthermore, my interest was from a social work perspective and the impact of this on the young people I work with namely those 14 – 18 years old.
However, what I quickly learnt was that it has been a very long time since I have studied my social biology or even any neuro sciences. What I did gather though, was that the body remains addicted to alcohol in a way that celebrates overcoming this poison. Furthermore this is passed down from generation to generation. It is also important to point out that the effect of alcohol has a different impact upon different people.
So from a social work perspective the key points were around the child development and the associated behaviours that come with this. It is an interesting subject that if assessed correctly by the social worker/midwife could help early diagnosis and also a better treatment for the young person and also a better support plan for the long term permanence plan for the child.
For young people that have to live with this syndrome they could have with it cognitive difficulties, attachment difficulties, ADHD, ASD all with varying degrees. And for social workers, care workers, foster carers these are all things that we will be very familiar with. However, the difference is that if you can understand the history and the behaviours and with the right support maybe where placements become strained due to the behaviour then perhaps they may not break down. Meaning better outcomes for the young person who with the support of their family or carer can achieve with a valid support from the right agencies.
At present there is not a massive known support and diagnosis is only accurate if during pregnancy the Mum shares her alcohol usage. So for more information on FAS please read here.