Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs)
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) is an umbrella term that refers to a range of conditions that includes fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), fetal alcohol effects (FAE), alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), and alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD). FASDs can occur in an individual who was exposed to alcohol in utero. While FASD describes an array of disorders, FAS is a specific birth defect caused by alcohol use during pregnancy. FASD is not a diagnostic term used by clinicians.
Symptoms of babies born with FASDs may include:
- Small size/low birth weight
- Brain damage
- Intellectual disability
- Behavioral problems
- Facial abnormalities
- Heart, lung, or kidney defects
Services that may be beneficial for a child with FASDs include:
- Special education
- Early intervention
- Occupational therapy
Early Identification of Developmental Disabilities: Practical Tools For Professionals [Webinar]
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2013)
Describes programs and materials available from the CDC that can assist child welfare directors and providers with the identification of and referrals for children with developmental disabilities. It focuses on children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders or autism spectrum disorders and highlights the CDC's Learn the Signs Act Early program.
Where can I find further information?
A Call to Action: Advancing Essential Services and Research on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (PDF - 4219 KB)
National Task Force on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome & Fetal Alcohol Effect Post Exposure Writing Group (2009)
Highlights recommendations to improve and expand efforts regarding early identification, diagnostic services, and quality research on interventions for individuals with FASDs and their families.
FASD: What the Foster Care System Should Know (PDF - 342 KB)
National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (2006)
Explores how the foster care system can help identify and support children with FASD.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Center for Excellence
Facilitates development and improvement of prevention, treatment, and care systems in the United States by providing national leadership and facilitating collaboration in the field.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (PDF - 169 KB)
Georgia Alliance for Drug Endangered Children (2006)
Reviews the causes, symptoms, and effects of FASD in infants and children. The factsheet also includes information on the incidence of FASD in the United States and in Georgia.
Fostering Children and Youth with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (PDF - 217 KB)
Adoption Resources of Wisconsin & Foster Care and Adoption Resource Center (2009)
Provides a tip sheet for Wisconsin foster parents on the types and characteristics of FASD.
National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Committed to developing and implementing innovative ideas in prevention, education, intervention, and advocacy in communities both nationally and internationally.
Transition Out-of-Care: Issues for Youth with FASD (PDF - 110 KB)
Fuchs, Burnside, Marchenski, & Mudry (2008)
Reviews the recommendations and initiatives in Manitoba, Canada, developed to address transition outcomes for youth in foster care diagnosed with FASD.