Alcohol, when ingested by a pregnant woman, can produce a wide array of complications in the growing fetus. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) is an umbrella term that includes several diagnoses that result from prenatal alcohol exposure.
Although not strictly genetic, we felt that it would be helpful to include this common condition caused by exposure during pregnancy. FASDs include a wide variety of physical, intellectual, behavioral, and developmental effects seen in people who were exposed to alcohol before they were born. These disabilities vary from very mild to very severe. Variability depends on many things including amount of alcohol, timing of exposure, etc.
The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) states that 1 in 100 infants born each year are affected by FASDs.
FASD includes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). FAS is defined by specific differences in growth, facial features, and central nervous system functioning as well as a documented prenatal history of alcohol consumption. The specific physical findings are what distinguish FAS from FASDs.
On these pages, we will use the term FASDs to represent findings for both conditions.
Click the image below for a printable poster or handout to promote GEMSS information on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
This information was last updated in May 2022.