Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

What is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)?

FASD is an umbrella term that describes a range of disabilities resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure. The medical diagnoses of FASD include:

• Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
• Partial FASD (pFASD)
• Alcohol-related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND)
• Alcohol-related Birth Defects (ARBD)

Why is this information so important?

FASD is the leading known cause of preventable developmental disability among Canadians. It is estimated that FASD affects approximately 1% of the Canadian population. The condition has serious and harmful effects on the child, family and community. FNHA works with communities to support mothers to build healthy families by avoiding alcohol during pregnancy. 

What are the effects of FASD?

FASD cannot be cured and has lifelong consequences for individuals, their families, and society. Effects, including alcohol-related birth defects, can vary from mild to severe and may include a range of physical, brain and central nervous system disabilities, as well as cognitive, behavioural and emotional issues.

Canada's new Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines advise that there is no safe amount, and no safe time to drink alcohol during pregnancy: http://www.ccsa.ca/Eng/topics/alcohol/drinking-guidelines/Pages/default.aspx

Links to more information about FASD:

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