FASD is defined as a range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy. These effects may include mental, behavioral, physical and/or learning disabilities with potential lifelong implications.
Signs of FASD in…
- Infants: Low birth weight, sensitivity to light, noise and touch, irritability, inability to suck effectively, slow development, ear infections.
- Toddlers: Poor memory, hyperactivity, no fear, no sense of boundaries, needs excessive physical contact.
- School-age children: Easily distracted, short attention span, poor coordination, trouble with large and fine motor skills, needs individual attention.
- Older children: Low self-esteem, trouble keeping up in school, impulsive, difficulty with social boundaries, inability to remember concepts.
Individuals with fetal alcohol exposure have special challenges to face in daily living. Unfortunately, many children are given a particular “label” throughout their lives due to undiagnosed FASD.
- Low birth weight
- Impaired growth before and after birth
- Facial malformations
- Small head size
- Learning disabilities and lower IQ
- Hyperactivity and the inability to pay attention
- Sleeping problems
- Organ damage
FASD Top 10:
- Drinking during pregnancy can cause permanent damage to a developing fetus.
- FASD is one of the most common causes of mental retardation.
- FASD is 100% preventable.
- Obtaining an FASD diagnosis can improve an individual’s ability to function in the world.
- The best time for diagnosis is during the early childhood years.
- Diagnosis can reduce secondary disabilities like depression and school failure.
- FASD is found in all races and all socioeconomic groups.
- There is no safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
- Alcohol can cause damage to a developing fetus even before a woman knows she is pregnant.
- With the right diagnosis, support and understanding, many individuals with FASD are living happy and full lives.