Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
What is fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)?
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe the range
of effects that can occur in a child whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy.
FASD includes several diagnostic conditions:
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
Partial fetal alcohol syndrome
Alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND)
Alcohol-related birth defect (ARBD)
How is FASD diagnosed?
A child is diagnosed with an FASD by looking carefully at certain physical characteristics,
growth patterns, and learning strengths and weaknesses. Interviews or records are
reviewed to determine whether the child may have been exposed to alcohol during pregnancy.
How many people have FASD?
Between 2 and 5 of every 100 people have an FASD. Between 2 and 7 of every 1000 people
have full FAS.
Associated Developmental and Learning Issues
Most children with FASD have some degree of developmental delay or difficulty learning.
Common difficulties include:
Difficulty with social skills and building relationships
Difficulties with self-regulation
Delayed motor skills or poor motor coordination
Difficulty with daily living skills
Sensory processing difficulties
Learning problems: Children with FASD can have cognitive abilities ranging from severe
intellectual disability to above average intellectual ability. Many children with
FASD have normal intelligence. Common learning challenges include:
Associated Medical Conditions
In infancy, low birth weight, feeding difficulties, and slow growth
Problems with sleep and sleep-wake cycle
Poor safety awareness
Associated Behavioral Conditions
Mood disorders or bipolar disorder
Personality or conduct disorders
Reactive attachment disorder
Online Medical Reviewers:
- Behavior Treatment Services - Provides assessment and short-term treatment for children and teens with developmental delay or disability and challenging behaviors.
- Community Consultation Program - Provides technical assistance, training, and continuing education to schools, community and state agencies that provide services to children with learning and behavioral challenges.
- Crisis Intervention Program - Provides services to individuals with a developmental or intellectual disability living in Monroe County with significant behavioral difficulties.
- Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program - Provides assessment and treatment for children who have difficulty eating related to food selectivity, food refusal, and disruptive mealtime behavior.
Visit the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder LibGuide for resources.