Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

FASD (Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) is an umbrella term which describes the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. Its effects include physical, mental, behavioral and learning disabilities that have a lifelong implication. Its effects can range from mild to severe.

FASD results in central nervous systems dysfunctions which affects a multiple number of domains including:

  1. Cognitive deficits or significant developmental discrepancies: negatively affecting academic or scholastic performance, specific learning disabilities (especially math and/or visual-spatial deficits); discrepancy between verbal and nonverbal skills, slow information processing).
  2. Executive functioning deficits: weak organisation ability or use of strategies to problem solve. concrete thinking; weak impulse control, difficulty following multi step directions; poor judgment; and inability to apply knowledge to new situations.
  3. Motor functioning delays or deficits: delayed motor milestones: difficulty with writing or drawing; motor co-ordination, visual motor integration
  4. Attention and hyperactivity problems: inattentive: easily distracted; overly active; difficulty completing tasks; and/or trouble with transitions.
  5. Social skills problems: adaptive skills significantly below cognitive potential; inappropriate sexual behaviours; difficulty understanding the perspective of others; poor social cognition and difficulty understanding social cues and perspectives of others.
  6. Other potential domains that can be affected: including sensory problems, memory deficits (e.g., forgetting well-learned material, and needing many trials to remember); and difficulty responding appropriately to common parenting practices (e.g., not understanding cause-and-effect discipline).

It is important to note that not all FASD children look the same or present with the same CNS abnormalities.