ERIC Number: ED326372
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Jul
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome "Chemical Genocide."
In the Northern Plains of the United States, 100% of Indian reservations are affected by alcohol related problems. Approximately 90% of Native American adults are currently alcohol users or abusers or are recovering from alcohol abuse. Alcohol consumption has a devastating effect on the unborn. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is an irreversible birth defect that is most likely to occur when a pregnant woman abuses alcohol. A child with FAS is born mentally retarded with deformed facial features and some physical malformations. FAS is detected at birth and affects about 1 in every 100 Native Americans born in the Northern Plains. A related disorder is Fetal Alcohol Effected (FAE) which affects 1 in 50 Native Americans. FAE is a lesser degree of birth defect, with the effects being below average IQ, learning disabilities, hyperactivity, short attention span, and possibly the same physical malformations as FAS. FAE children are usually not detected until they enter school and are often seen as children with disciplinary problems. They are treated as behavioral disordered before being diagnosed with FAE. Both FAS and FAE are indicators of community distress. Forty percent of all Native American women drink alcohol during pregnancy, and are at risk of giving birth to children suffering from FAS or FAE. Within two to three generations, every Native American household will have one spouse who is a descendant of a fetal alcohol birth, if current trends are not reversed. The paper briefly describes the groups and organizations of Native American women who are making efforts to bring awareness of this issue to both Indian communities and educators. (ALL)
Descriptors: Alcohol Abuse, Alcoholism, American Indian Culture, American Indian Reservations, American Indians, Congenital Impairments, Females, Pregnancy, Prenatal Influences
International Secretariat of IWGIA, Fiolstraede 10 DK-1171, Copenhagenk, Denmark.
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A