What is FASD?
FASD stands for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. This is the term used to describe birth anomalies that
result when a woman drinks alcohol while pregnant. These anomalies may be physical, development, or
neurologic. FASD is not a diagnostic term used by clinicians. It refers to conditions such as:
(1) Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, including partial FAS, (2) Fetal Alcohol Effects, (3) Alcohol-related
neurodevelopmental disorder and (4) Alcohol-related birth defects. FASD now outranks Down Syndrome
and autism in prevalence. Diagnosing FASD is extremely difficult. Diagnosis is easier if the birth
mother confirms alcohol use during pregnancy.
What is FAS?
FAS stands for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. FAS is one of the leading known causes of mental retardation and birth
defects. If a woman drinks alcohol during her pregnancy, her baby can be born with FAS, a lifelong, physically
and mentally disabling condition. FAS is characterized by (1) abnormal facial features, (2) growth
deficiencies, and (3) central nervous system (CNS) problems. Individuals with FAS may have problems with
learning, memory, attention span, problem solving, speech, and/or hearing. These problems often lead to
difficulties in school and problems getting along with others. FAS is an irreversible condition that
affects every aspect of an individual's life and the lives of his or her family. However, FAS is 100%
preventable--if a woman does not drink alcohol while she is pregnant. (Source: CDC National Center on
Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities)
What is FAE?
Alcohol Related Birth
Defects: An Update
Fetal Alcohol Effects is a term used to describe children with prenatal alcohol exposure who do not have all
the symptoms of FAS. Many have growth deficiencies, behavior problems, cognitive deficits, and other symptoms.
But they do not have the facial features of FAS. Although the term FAE is still used, the Institute of
Medicine has coined more specific terms. These include alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder and
alcohol-related birth defects.
Any drinking during pregnancy may damage the mother and the baby. When the mother drinks, the fetus is
exposed to alcohol. This alcohol exposure can damage the baby. Research shows that even drinking in the first
couple of weeks of pregnancy can damage the fetus.
In Florida, an estimated 2,040 infants are born each year with measurable effects that can be attributed
to prenatal alcohol exposure.
For more information about the impact of drinking during pregnancy, consult the resources linked below or call
The Family Health Line, 1-800-451-2229.
Is a national organization on
mental retardation 1- (800) 433-5255.
CDC Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder site includes posters, information on incidence of alcohol related birth
defects and information about CDC funded activities related to prenatal alcohol use.
Centros para el Control y la
El enlace del internet para el síndrome alcohólico fetal (SAF) incluye carteles, información sobre la incidencia
de defectos natales relacionados al alcohol, y infomación sobre actividades sobre el uso prenatal de alcohol,
pagados por los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades.
The Economic Costs of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome - Henrick Hardwood
FAS Community Resource
FASERS of Florida
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Education Service - a parent to parent service.
The Canadian Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Internet support, information, advocacy and discussion forum includes
information for families and health care professionals.
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Fetal Alcohol and Drug
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Diagnostic and
A non-profit organization with the mission to identify, understand and care for individuals disabled by
prenatal alcohol exposure and their families, and to prevent future generations from having to live with this
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Family Resource
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)
Center for Excellence
The FASD Center for Excellence is a Federal initiative devoted to preventing and treating FASD. The Center's
goals include advancing the field of FASD. This Web site provides information and resources about FASD.
Syndrome & Other Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure, Florida Resource
[PDF, 1.5 MB]-- you may need to download the free
view the document).
Guide developed by the Florida Department of Health, The Florida Department of Children and Families, and the
Florida State University Center for Prevention; and Early Intervention.
This Children's Research
Triangle website has ordering information for Dr. Chasnoff's articles and educational tools including
information on identifying and intervening children who were exposed to alcohol and other drug abuse during
pregnancy. The site includes information to use when adopting a child overseas.
Journal of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Journey Through The Healing
A series available in books, tapes and cd's written for children in infancy through age twenty-two. Through the
characters in the books, the reader learns the challenges of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and related conditions and
receives guidance on meeting the challenges.
March of Dimes: Drinking During
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Research findings related to the effects of alcohol on pregnancy.
National Organization on Fetal Alcohol
This site has lots of information about preventing, identifying and living with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Dr. Larry Burd's site includes a presentation on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and three tools to help you estimate the
scope of the problem due to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and related developmental disorders resulting from prenatal
alcohol exposure in your community.
Reducing the Risk of
Alcohol-exposed Pregnancies: A Study of Motivational Counseling in Community
SAMSHA National Clearinghouse for Alcohol & Drug Abuse
Provides information packets, brochures, literature searches. Includes a treatment locator. (800) 729-6686
Teaching Students with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: A
Resource Guide for Florida Educators [PDF; 1.25mb]- A
manual for teachers by the Florida Department of Education,
Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services, 2005.
Texas Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Includes myths about alcohol and pregnancy.
University of South
1997 Graduate Student Research Project. The project involved locating published peer reviewed medical journal
articles that have shown various environmental and chemical exposure factors can cause learning disabilities,
hyperactivity and other disorders by damaging the delicate brain growth process in the unborn child during
pregnancy. Go to this website to view articles.
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