This page contains commonly asked questions and answers about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), including where to find information about the effects of FASD and how to get help for those who are at risk for FASD.
Where can I get general information and other resources about FASD?
You can search the database of Canadian resources on the CCSA website. The search result for
each resource provides a brief description, ordering information and a link to the electronic resource
where available. The database also includes a variety of resource types including websites, posters,
pamphlets, fact sheets and reports.
Database of Canadian FASD resources
Public Health Agency of Canada
For non-Canadian information, you can search the website below:
FASD Center for Excellence
U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association
I drank alcohol (used drugs) before I knew I was pregnant and am worried that my baby may be
affected by my alcohol (drug) consumption. How can I find out if my baby is at risk?
To speak in confidence about your concerns, please contact the Alcohol and Substance Use in Pregnancy Helpline at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. The helpline is available in Canada, toll-free, from
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.
For information about the risks of specific substances:
Is it safe for my baby? Risks and recommendations for the use of medication, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 2003
Exposure to psychotropic medications and other substances during pregnancy and lactation: a handbook for health care providers
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and Motherisk, 2007
I think my child (grandchild, daughter, sister, brother) may have FASD. What do I do? What is
involved in getting an FASD diagnosis?
Only trained medical professionals or physicians can provide a diagnosis of FASD. Usually, a
referral to a specialist is required from your family physician. Please see the links below for further information about getting a diagnosis in your province or territory:
The Asante Centre for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Lakeland Centre for FASD Online
Assessment and Diagnosis
FASD Support Network of Saskatchewan Inc.
Assessment and Diagnosis
Manitoba FASD Centre
FASD Ontario Network of Expertise
Child Development Centre
In 2005, Canadian diagnostic guidelines were published:
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: Canadian guidelines for diagnosis
CMAJ, Mar 1, 2005
Are there any specialized addiction treatment services or resources for adolescents or
adults with FASD?
CCSA maintains a database of treatment services in Canada. You can search for "People with
FASD" in the "Clients Accepted" field to find programs for individuals with FASD. The database is accessible on the CCSA website:
Canadian Treatment Services
How you can help a teen or adult avoid drug and alcohol use and abuse
FASD Tip #18
FASD Support Network of Saskatchewan
FASD: curriculum for addiction professionals
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
What training or education programs and resources are there on FASD?
Fully Online Post Diploma Program in FASD and Stand-Alone Courses
College of New Caledonia, British Columbia
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Education
Lethbridge College, Alberta
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: An Overview
School of Community & Social Justice
Justice Institute of British Columbia
FASD Speakers' Bureau
Saskatchewan Prevention Institute
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Outreach Training Modules
Are there any resources for teachers to help students with FASD in the classroom?a.) Yes, there are a number of guides and manuals for teachers to help students with FASD
learn in the classroom:
Towards inclusion: tapping hidden strengths. Planning for students who are alcohol-affected.
Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth
Making a difference: working with students with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Teaching students with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Planning for students with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Provincial Outreach Program for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (POPFASD)
BC Ministry of Education
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: talking about special education. Volume II
First Nations Education Streering Committee and the First Nations Schools Association
b.) As well, here are some curriculum resources for teachers to help students learn about FASD:
Teaching for the prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD): Grades 1–12: a resource
for teachers of health and life skills, and career and life management
What are the secondary disabilities associated with FASD?
Whereas primary disabilities are those caused by structural and functional brain damage as a
result of prenatal alcohol exposure, secondary disabilities are those that an individual is not
born with, but may acquire because of the central nervous system deficits caused by prenatal
alcohol exposure. The secondary disabilities are mental health problems, disrupted school
experience, alcohol or drug use, trouble with the law, confinement, inappropriate sexual
behaviour, dependent living, problems with employment.
While a susceptibility to secondary disabilities exists in individuals with FASD, there are also
protective factors that can help in preventing or reducing their occurrence such as early diagnosis
and stable housing. Please see the documents below for further reading:
Secondary disabilities among adults with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in British Columbia
Journal of FAS International, October 2004
Secondary disabilities and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Dr. Brenda Stade
Where can I get a copy of the FASD Directory?
The FASD Organizations database replaces the FASD Directory of Information and Support Services in Canada, which was previously published as a PDF. The database includes Canadian organizations and groups that provide an FASD service, program or support and that have met a set of inclusion criteria.
To access the database from CCSA's website, choose 'Our Databases' from the 'Knowledge Centre' menu at the top of the home page. To search the database, type text into the 'Any keyword or phrase' field or select items from the Browse menus; you can also narrow your search by Province or Territory. For each listing, the organization's contact information and a description of services is provided.