What is FASD?
FASD, Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders is an umbrella term for several diagnoses that are all related to prenatal exposure to alcohol (i.e. while a baby is still in the womb)
Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, FAS
Partial Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, PFAS
Alcohol Related Neuro-developmental Disorder, ARND
Alcohol Related Birth Defects, ARBD
Foetal Alcohol Effects, FAE
FASD is a series of preventable birth defects caused entirely by a woman drinking alcohol at any time during her pregnancy, often even before she knows that she is pregnant. Beer, wine, spirits - it's all the same to the developing baby.
The term "Spectrum" is used because each individual with FASD may have some or all of a spectrum of mental and physical challenges. In addition each individual with FASD may have these challenges to a degree or "spectrum" from mild to very severe.
These defects of both the brain and the body exist only because of prenatal exposure to alcohol. Often the condition goes undiagnosed, or is misdiagnosed, for example as autism or ADHD, and this can lead to secondary disabilities.