FASD is a medical diagnosis that describes the range of brain injuries, birth defects and developmental disabilities that can result when alcohol is consumed during pregnancy.
Current research estimates the prevalence of FASD in the general Canadian population to be 4 per cent. Approximately 1,482,254 Canadians are living with FASD, making it the most common preventable developmental disability in Canada.
FASD affects individuals differently with a range of symptoms, some that are readily visible, others that are not. Common effects experienced by children and adults living with FASD include learning and memory difficulties, speech and language problems, impulsive behaviour, social difficulties, sensory challenges, motor skill and physical problems. Because of their disabilities, people who are affected by FASD may have special needs that last into adulthood; however, with support many go on to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.
A medical diagnosis of FASD can be an important first step, opening doors to effective programs, supports and strategies to help individuals affected by prenatal alcohol exposure thrive.
If you would like more information on FASD, assessment and diagnosis, next steps or support for those affected by FASD, CFAN can help.