Learning Difficulties Related to FAS, ARND and ARBD

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Children with FAS, ARND and ARBD frequently have learning difficulties. These difficulties result from poor thinking and processing skills. Information may be known, but cannot be applied to different situations. Learning may occur in spurts. Easy learning periods may be followed by harder ones. During difficult periods, children may have trouble remembering and using their learned information. Because of inconsistent learning, teachers may think they are just not trying. They may label them as lazy or stubborn.


  • Developmental delays
  • Attention deficit
  • Poor organization skills
  • Problems with memory
  • Poor mathematical skills
  • Difficulty with abstract concepts
  • Difficulty learning from past experiences
  • Difficulty understanding cause and effect
  • Speech delays, stuttering and stammering



There are many behavioral characteristics which differentiate FAS, ARND and ARBD patients from other mentally retarded individuals. Socially, they tend to be very outgoing and socially engaging, yet they are frequently seen by others as intrusive, overly talkative, and generally unaware of social cues and conventions. Poor social judgment and poor socialization skills are common: many patients are hungry for attention, even negative. Due to their social immaturity, they have difficulty establishing friendships, especially with children of the same age. The potential for both social isolation and exploitation of individuals with FAS, ARND and ARBD is very evident. Hyperactivity is frequently cited as a problem for young children who characteristically have short attention spans. Many also have memory problems, thus creating further setbacks to adaptive functioning and academic achievement later on.

Inappropriate Social Skills Related to FAS/FAE

Children with FAS/FAE often show socially inappropriate behavior due to impaired practical reasoning skills. They also may be unable to consider results of their actions. They may miss cues used as subtle messages like gestures and facial expressions. They may be socially and emotionally immature and have difficulty getting along with peers.

Children with FAS, ARND and ARBD can be easily influenced by others. Due to their trusting nature and eagerness to please, random attraction to strangers may occur. They may be vulnerable to manipulation and victimization. This can cause concern for caregivers. Constant supervison may be required.

Ask Dr. Susan