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September 2019   |   Archive   |   National Adoption Month   

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Resources for Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) denotes a constellation of symptoms affecting the physical and cognitive development of children exposed to alcohol in utero. Although facial anomalies are the symptom most frequently associated with FASD, other challenges may include speech impediments, hyperactivity, poor impulse control, and delayed emotional development.

Early identification and treatment of FASD are essential, but it is often challenging to diagnose due to a lack of information about maternal alcohol use during pregnancy. Without proper diagnosis, it can be difficult to fully understand a child’s delays and behaviors. This can make it challenging for adoptive parents to provide their children with the services they need.

Despite these barriers, there are several steps that adoptive parents can take to support their child. These steps begin with obtaining a comprehensive evaluation by a professional specializing in prenatal alcohol exposure and seeking appropriate early intervention services. This is particularly true for children and youth adopted from foster care.

Children and youth with FASD are less likely to be raised by their biological parents, resulting in higher rates of FASD in the foster care population. The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome reports that approximately 70 percent of children involved with the child welfare system have been prenatally exposed to alcohol. It is therefore extremely important that child welfare professionals, foster parents, and adoptive parents understand the symptoms and effective interventions designed to address FASD.

Below, find resources to support adoptive parents in understanding FASD, as well as strategies to support children with FASD throughout the lifespan:


3 Resources About FASD

FASD Treatments



By the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


5 Sanity Saving Tips for Kids With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)

By Creating a Family 

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Identification and Interventions

By the Florida Center for Early Childhood 



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