What Is FASD
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe the range of neurological and behavioral effects caused by drinking alcohol during a pregnancy. It refers to specific conditions such as:
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
- Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (PFAS)
- Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND)
- Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD)
Why It Matters
FASD is a brain-based physical disability. As such, FASD is life-long and cannot be cured. FASD is a birth defect that is 100% preventable. If no woman consumed any alcohol during her entire pregnancy, no child would be born with an FASD.
Quote From A Parent
"Although, it hurt to learn the impact of my alcohol use on my child,
it helped me to map out how to help him. Thanks to the diagnosis, my son is
getting the help he needs, is less frustrated and happier."
How Can I Tell If A Child Has Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders?
Most children with FASD may look completely normal. You cannot physically see brain damage, you can only see the results of brain damage through thebehaviorsof the individual.
The key characteristics of FASD brain damage are:
- Difficulty with assessment, judgment, impulse control and reasoning which often lands them in trouble at home, at school, and with the law (They may be able to recite the rules, but they are unable to use them to govern their behavior).
- Misunderstanding of cause and effect which often leads to high rates of recidivism in the criminal system and problems with discipline because they are unable to predict the consequences of their actions (1)
- Inability to generalize or think abstractly means that they are unable to apply lessons learned in one situation to another (They may understand that they’re not to run into the street in front of their house, but may not be able to apply that lesson instinctively to other streets).
- Trouble focusing and hyperactivity, poor memory, emotional immaturity and social skill deficits, and learning disabilities often mean that they perform poorly in school,have trouble holding jobs, and can be difficult to manage at home.
Contact the Texas Office for Prevention of Developmental Disabilities for questions about diagnoses.
The Prevalence of FASD
Conservatively, FASD may occur in 1 in 100 live births nationally (2). That means that out of approximately 380,000 Texas births occurring every year, 3,800 babies may have FASD.
- In the U.S., each year about ...
Financial Implications of FAS and FASD
Of all the FASD disorders, FAS is the least common and most severe. The cost of FAS to the nation is an estimated $3.6 billion each year. The lifetime costs for an individual with FASD is about $2 million (8).
Educate and Spread the Word
Educate within your community or organization
Find out more about how you can join or support the FASD Collaborative in Texas
Contact us and find out ways you can help
Texas FASD Collaborative Facilitator
Leah Davies, L.M.S.W.
Texas Office for Prevention of
Want To Help?
We want to hear from you! The FASD Collaborative of Texas is dedicated to improving health and wellness in the state through prevention of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and improved social services.
Did You Know?
Statistics concerning the population of individuals with FASDs:
- 35% have alcohol and drug problems
- 35% of adults and adolescents had been in prison for a crime
- 45% engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior
- 60% of those over the age of 12 have been charged with or convicted of a crime
- 60% had disrupted school experiences
- 72% had experienced physical or sexual abuse, or domestic violence
- 82% are unable to live independently
- 94% also have a mental illness
- 100% of the cases were preventable
For More Information
- Resources Webpage
- The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- The FASD Center for Excellence
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention