Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a term used to describe the range of problems caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy, including physical, mental, behavioural and learning disabilities. The effects are often invisible, leaving children and adults with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder vulnerable and misunderstood.
During pregnancy, it is not safe to drink alcohol – any type, any amount, at any time.
It's best to get advice and support early if you're worried that your child may have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder:
Get an Assessment
Ask your doctor about getting a referral for an assessment.
The Complex Developmental Behavioural Conditions (CDBC) Network offers assessment services for children and teens who have significant difficulties in their development and learning, mental health, and adaptive and social skills.
Support From a Key Worker
Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder do best when their individual strengths are recognized. A key worker helps to to do this by:
- Finding ways that parents, family members, caregivers and service providers can adapt the child’s environment
- Giving emotional and practical support to families along with education and information tailored specifically to their needs
- Referring families and parents to resources like training, support groups or mentoring programs
Support from a key worker is free – families can contact one at any time, even before an assessment.