What is FASD?

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications. 


Primary Characteristics

The following neurodevelopmental characteristics are commonly associated with FASD. No one or two is necessarily diagnostically significant; many overlap characteristics of other diagnoses, e.g., ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, and others. Typical primary characteristics in children, adolescents, and adults include:

Strengths and Interests

Many people with FASD have strengths which mask their cognitive challenges.

Secondary Characteristics

In the absence of identification, people with FASD often experience chronic frustration. Over time, patterns of defensive behaviors commonly develop. These characteristics are believed to be preventable and reversible with appropriate supports.

Tertiary Characteristics

These are the net result of a chronic poor fit, failure, isolation and alienation. Like secondary characteristics, they are preventable and reversible with appropriate support.