- FASD is the leading cause of developmental disability in the world, leaving affected children with lifelong physical, emotional and intellectual challenges.
- It is completely avoidable by avoiding all alcohol during pregnancy
- There is no cure, but early diagnosis makes it possible for children with FASD to get help with related problems
- As little as one drink a day during pregnancy can cause behavioural problems in an unborn child
- Drinking more than two alcoholic beverages a week puts a pregnant at high risk of her child developing FASD
How Many People Are Affected?
- It’s estimated that at least 40% of women in the UK drink alcohol while pregnant.
- 17% of children in the UK are born with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
- The UK is ranked number four in the world for cases of FASD
What Are The Symptoms of FASD?
- Smaller than average head size
- Slow growth and shorter than average stature
- Poor balance and coordination
- Delayed thought processes and speech development
- Problems with making friends and socialising
- Attention disorders
- Learning difficulties
- Poor concentration
- Kidney, heart and liver problems
- Visual impairment
- Hearing loss
- Unusual facial features, such as small eyes, a thin tlip, top lip and an underdeveloped philtrum (the area between the nose and upper lip)
- Drinking in pregnancy is not restricted to one socio economic group – women of all backgrounds, educational levels and salary groups have children with FASD
- There is no specific treatment, but early diagnosis is essential to minimise long term effects
- Health care professionals, education providers and support organisations play an important role, so comprehensive training is important
- Children with FASD may have problems with education and social skills, so families should have access to early psycho-educational testing and support
Children Born with FASD Commonly Experience:
- Behavioural problems, such as oppositional defiant disorder, aggression and problems with authority
- Poor educational achievements
- Mental health problems such as depression and psychosis
- Problems with making friends and managing normal relationships
- Anger issues
- Drug and alcohol problems
- Difficulty holding down a job
The only way to prevent FASD is to not drink alcohol at all during pregnancy.
Consult your doctor if you suspect you or someone you know may be affected.