Fetal Alcoholization

The term Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term that describes a wide range of effects that can occur in a child whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy.

FASD diagnoses:

  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS);
  • Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (PFAS);
  • Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND);
  • Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD).

How do you get FASD?

Anyone may have FASD if their biological mother drank alcohol during pregnancy; that is the only cause of FASD. No alcohol during pregnancy is the safest choice for any pregnant woman or any woman who may become pregnant.

The effects of alcohol on a growing fœtus may cause a range of physical defects, from brain damage to nervous system disorders, as well as behaviour problems. FASD cannot be cured and has lifelong effects on individuals who have the disorder, their families, and communities.

How do you know if a person has FASD?

Individuals with FASD frequently have physical birth defects, facial abnormalities, learning disabilities, memory problems, difficulty understanding the consequences of their actions, etc.

Only a specially trained physician can accurately diagnose FASD. In collaboration with a multidisciplinary team, the physician will recommend interventions, counselling and appropriate treatment.  

FASD Initiative

The FASD Initiative is funded by Health Canada. To learn more about this topic, please consult the following pages: