Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr


Fetal Alcohol Syndrome


Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) describes physical and neurological (motor, cognitive, and behavioral) deficits that result from maternal alcohol intake during pregnancy. FAS is the leading cause of mental retardation and birth defects in the U.S., ahead of spina bifida, fragile X syndrome, and down's syndrome. The incidence of FAS increased more than three-fold from 1979 to 1992; this increasing incidence rate, enhances the importance of the Physical Therapists' role in early recognition and intervention of FAS. A review of current F AS research studies, reveals a need for additional resource information on FAS, regarding implications for Physical Therapy and possible treatment strategies. The purpose of this independent study is to create an organized resource, specific to Physical Therapists, that includes the diagnostic characteristics, clinical manifestations, and treatment strategies associated with FAS. The text of this independent study paper contains: a current literature review of FAS research history, diagnosis, clinical presentation, and implications; identification and ( screening mechanisms; and treatment strategies specific to Physical Therapists. In addition, the information contained in this independent study will be used to develop an informational booklet to be utilized by Physical Therapists and other allied health care professionals. The goal of the booklet will be to assist these professionals in the identification and treatment of children or adults with FAS.