Did you know that Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a general term that describes the range of disabilities that may affect a child if the child’s birth mother drank alcohol while she was pregnant. It is believed that 1 in 100 people may be affected because of alcohol use during pregnancy. FASD is often referred to as an invisible disability. The signs and symptoms of FASD may go unnoticed or be masked by other things in the individual’s life – and many do not receive the support and accommodation they require to succeed in life.
FASD is an umbrella term describing the range of harms caused by alcohol exposure during pregnancy. These may include mental, behavioural, physical disabilities or learning difficulties. It can also cause intellectual impairment.
Medical diagnosis of FASD are:
- FAS – fetal alcohol syndrome (growth delays, dysmorphic facial features, intellectual disabilities)
- pFAS – partial fetal alcohol syndrome (partial growth delays, some dysmorphic facial features, intellectual disabilities)
- ARND – Alcohol related neuro-developmental disorder (no physical indicators, intellectual disabilities)
Women of all backgrounds, ethnicities and income levels use alcohol during pregnancy. No one knows how much alcohol a pregnant woman can safely drink. Drinking regularly, even one drink per day is considered to be high risk. Binge drinking (5 drinks or more on one occasion) is also considered high risk. There is no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy.
“Don’t Snicker at FASD” – Snickers Bars with Facts on FASD will be handed out throughout the region on September 9th, 2013, to help raise awareness for FASD.