What is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder?
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a range of disabilities that can be caused by pre-natal exposure to alcohol (for example, when a pregnant woman drinks alcohol). The disabilities can show up as problems with the nervous system, mental ability, behaviour or physical development, and can range from mild to severe. People with FASD may be given a diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (pFAS), alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND) or alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD).
- People with FASD can have problems with learning, memory, math, communication and socializing.
- They may have characteristic facial features, slowed growth, and vision and hearing problems.
- FASD may affect as many as 9 in 1,000 babies.
Learn about new FASD initiatives in Canada.
View readings and resources on FASD
Background National Framework - Addressing FASD
In 2005, CCSA and the Public Health Agency of Canada co-hosted two National Thematic Workshops on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder as part of a series of broad consultations to prioritize FASD issues of national significance. The FASD workshops aimed to achieve consensus on a variety of recommendations and priorities and to build and strengthen national partnerships within the FASD community. As a result of the consultations, Addressing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) was identified as one of the 13 priorities of the National Framework for Action to Reduce the Harms Associated with Alcohol and Other Drugs and Substances in Canada
Chudley, A.E., Conry, J., Cook, J.L., Loock, C., Rosales, T., LeBlanc, N. (2005) Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: Canadian guidelines for diagnosis. CMAJ, 172(5 suppl), S1-S21. Retrieved August 29, 2012 from: http://www.cmaj.ca/content/172/5_suppl/S1.full.pdfPublic Health Agency of Canada (2005). Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Retrieved August 29, 2012 from: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/dca-dea/prog-ini/fasd-etcaf/faq/pdf/faq-eng.pdf