Attention deficits in children exposed to alcohol prenatally

Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1990 Oct;14(5):656-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.1990.tb01223.x.


Twenty children with fetal alcohol syndrome or fetal alcohol effect (FAS/FAE) were compared with 20 attention deficit disorder (ADD) children and 20 normal controls on three experimental tasks designed to isolate four different components of attention. Parents completed three questionnaires regarding their child's activity level and overall functioning, and the children completed a short form of an IQ test. The children in each group ranged from 5 to 12 years. Results indicate that although the children with FAS/FAE are significantly more impaired intellectually, their attentional deficits and behavioral problems are similar to those of children with ADD. These findings imply that the treatments known to facilitate learning in children with ADD may also benefit children with FAS/FAE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychometrics
  • Reaction Time
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology