Facts about FASDs
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are a group of conditions that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects can include physical problems and problems with behavior and learning. Often, a person with an FASD has a mix of these problems.
Cause and Prevention
FASDs are caused by a woman drinking alcohol during pregnancy. There is no known amount of alcohol that is safe to drink while pregnant. There is also no safe time to drink during pregnancy and no safe kind of alcohol to drink while pregnant.
To prevent FASDs, a woman should not drink alcohol while she is pregnant, or even when she might get pregnant. This is because a woman could get pregnant and not know for several weeks or more. In the United States, half of pregnancies are unplanned.
Signs and Symptoms
FASDs refer to the whole range of effects that can happen to a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These conditions can affect each person in different ways, and can range from mild to severe.
A person with an FASD might have:
* Abnormal facial features, such as a smooth ridge between the nose and upper lip (this ridge is called the philtrum)
* Small head size
* Shorter-than-average height
* Low body weight
* Poor coordination
* Hyperactive behavior
* Difficulty paying attention
* Poor memory
* Difficulty in school (especially with math)
* Learning disabilities
* Speech and language delays
* Intellectual disability or low IQ
* Poor reasoning and judgment skills
* Sleep and sucking problems as a baby
* Vision or hearing problems
* Problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones
Types of FASDs