Infant, Maternal & Reproductive Health Unit
||Alcohol - Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
What is FASD?
FASD stands for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. This is the term used to describe birth anomalies that
result when a woman drinks alcohol while pregnant. These anomalies may be physical, development, or
neurologic. FASD is not a diagnostic term used by clinicians. It refers to conditions such as: (1)
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, including partial FAS, (2) Fetal Alcohol Effects,
(3) Alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder and (4) Alcohol-related birth defects.
FASD now outranks Down Syndrome and autism in prevalence. Diagnosing FASD is extremely difficult.
Diagnosis is easier if the birth mother confirms alcohol use during pregnancy.
What is FAS?
FAS stands for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. FAS is one of the leading known causes of mental retardation and birth
defects. If a woman drinks alcohol during her pregnancy, her baby can be born with FAS, a lifelong, physically
and mentally disabling condition. FAS is characterized by (1) abnormal facial features, (2) growth deficiencies,
and (3) central nervous system (CNS) problems. Individuals with FAS may have problems with learning, memory,
attention span, problem solving, speech, and/or hearing. These problems often lead to difficulties in school
and problems getting along with others. FAS is an irreversible condition that affects every aspect of an
individuals life and the lives of his or her family. However, FAS is 100% preventableif a woman does not
drink alcohol while she is pregnant. (Source: CDC National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental
What is FAE?
Fetal Alcohol Effects is a term used to describe children with prenatal alcohol exposure who do not have all the
symptoms of FAS. Many have growth deficiencies, behavior problems, cognitive deficits, and other symptoms.
But they do not have the facial features of FAS. Although the term FAE is still used, the Institute of Medicine
has coined more specific terms. These include alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder and alcohol-related
Any drinking during pregnancy may damage the mother and the baby. When the mother drinks, the fetus is
exposed to alcohol. This alcohol exposure can damage the baby. Research shows that even drinking in the
first couple of weeks of pregnancy can damage the fetus.
In Florida, an estimated 2,040 infants are born each year with measurable effects that can be attributed to
prenatal alcohol exposure.
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Centers for Disease
CDC Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder site includes posters, information on incidence of alcohol related birth
defects and information about CDC funded activities related to prenatal alcohol use.
Centros para el Control y la
Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC)
El enlace del internet para el síndrome alcohólico fetal (SAF) incluye carteles, información sobre la
incidencia de defectos natales relacionados al alcohol, y infomación sobre actividades sobre el uso prenatal
de alcohol, pagados por los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades.
CSAP's Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Center
FAS Community Resource
FASERS of Florida - Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Education Service a parent to parent service.
The Canadian Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Internet support, information, advocacy and discussion forum includes
information for families and health care professionals.
Fetal Alcohol and Drug
The University of Washington website includes findings from their extensive research on FASD diagnosis and
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Diagnostic
and Prevention Network
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Family Resource
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Center
The FASD Center for Excellence is a Federal initiative devoted to preventing and treating FASD. The Center's goals
include advancing the field of FASD. This Web site provides information and resources about FASD.
Alcohol Syndrome & Other Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure, Florida Resource
(1.5 MB PDF - you may need to download the free
Reader to view
Guide developed by the Florida Department of Health, The Florida Department of Children and Families, and the Florida State
University Center for Prevention; and Early Intervention.
Florida Birth Defects
This website includes information and data relating to incidence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
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This Children's Research Triangle website has ordering information for Dr. Chasnoff's articles and educational
tools including information on identifying and intervening children who were exposed to alcohol and other drug
abuse during pregnancy. The site includes information to use when adopting a child overseas.
Journal of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Journey Through The Healing
A series available in books, tapes and cd's written for children in infancy through age twenty-two. Through the
characters in the books, the reader learns the challenges of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and related conditions and
receives guidance on meeting the challenges.
March of Dimes: Drinking During
Research findings related to the effects of alcohol on pregnancy.
National Organization on Fetal Alcohol
This site has lots of information about preventing, identifying and living with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Dr. Larry Burd's site includes a presentation on
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and three tools to help you estimate the scope of the problem due to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
and related developmental disorders resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure in your community.
Online manual for parenting children with FAS.
The Partnership to Prevent Fetal Alcohol
The Partnership is to unite communities nationwide in a public health response to prevent Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
and alcohol-related birth defects. The Partnership aims to empower mothers to deliver healthy babies by
encouraging women who are planning a pregnancy or already pregnant to avoid alcohol.
Texto completo accesible en linea. Site does provide online ordering of Spanish materials on Fetal Alcohol
Reducing the Risk of
Alcohol-exposed Pregnancies: A Study of Motivational Counseling in Community
SAMSHA National Clearinghouse for Alcohol & Drug Abuse
Provides information packets, brochures, literature searches. Includes a treatment locator.
Social Security Benefits for those Affected by
Information on Social Security benefits, criteria for eligibility and accessing services from the University
Texas Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Includes myths about alcohol and pregnancy.
University of South
1997 Graduate Student Research Project. The project involved locating published peer reviewed medical journal
articles that have shown various environmental and chemical exposure factors can cause learning disabilities,
hyperactivity and other disorders by damaging the delicate brain growth process in the unborn child during
pregnancy. Go to this website to view articles.
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Infant, Maternal & Reproductive Health