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Table 1 Domains of brain function and disabilities associated with prenatal alcohol exposure

From: Integrating care for individuals with FASD: results from a multi-stakeholder symposium

Domain Characteristics and Commonly Associated Disabilities
Physical Motor Skills Gross and fine motor skills. Poor hand/eye coordination and sensory input. Abnormal muscle tone effects balance. Children may demonstrate problems or be developmentally delayed with simple tasks such as using scissors or pencils.
Sensory Processing Skills Problems processing and interpreting sensory information (e.g., touch, sound, movement). Often are oversensitive resulting in over stimulation which leads to anxiety, aggressive behaviour and inability to learn or perform.
Cognition Knowing, perception, awareness and judgement. Problems include: learning difficulties, deficits in math and school performance, poor impulse control, social perception, poor capacity for abstract thinking, and problems with memory, attention, judgement or organization.
Communication Includes both expressive and receptive communication skills. May have problems with: using complex language structures, retrieving words from memory, following instructions, comprehension, discrimination, generalization, abstraction, and sequencing.
Academic Achievement Multiple deficits impact academic achievement in multiple areas. However, children may excel in one area but be poor in another.
Memory Problems with encoding, storage and retrieval. At times, may not be able to complete a task that has been successfully completed many times before.
Executive Functioning Abstract Reasoning Includes higher order cognitive processes: inhibition, flexibility, cause and effect, judgment and organization. May show poor ‘common sense’ and ability to learn from the past or generalize.
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Difficulty maintaining attention, easily distracted by visual and auditory stimulation and may have problems self-regulating when they are overstimulated or tired.
Adaptive Behaviour [Chudley et al., 2005] Includes functioning independently and acquiring new daily living skills. Children have decreased capacity to develop/acquire new social, practical and conceptual skills to help them better respond to daily demands.