Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) describes a group of conditions caused by alcohol use in pregnancy. FASD presents in children and babies as a range of conditions and may not be identified until the child starts school and experiences behavioural and learning difficulties. FASD 1Some of features of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders include:
  • delayed growth with poor muscle tone and coordination
  • distinctive facial features
  • intellectual impairment
  • delayed development of physical skills like walking and talking
  • hearing, sight and sleeping issues
  • memory, attention and behavioural issues.
By not drinking alcohol during pregnancy, FASD can be effectively prevented.  
The Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol (2009) recommend: Maternal alcohol consumption can harm the developing fetus or breastfeeding baby.
  • For women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, not drinking is the safest option.
  • For women who are breastfeeding, not drinking is also the safest option.
Partners, family and friends can play an important part by encouraging pregnant women and breastfeeding mums not to drink alcohol.
Support in Queensland
The Queensland FASD Support Group offers support and knowledge to families living with FASD. This is an open group for parents, carers, families, adults and young people living with FASD, educators and members of the community. The group meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month (excluding December) at the Pacific Pines Community Hub, 136 Pacific Pines Boulevard, Pacific Pines.
The Russell Family Fetal Alcohol Disorders Association offers information, advice and support regarding FASD with a ‘no blame, no shame’ ethos. The website contains a range of support resources relating to FASD, and includes information about diagnostic and support services for carers and parents.

Our sources

Information in this section has been drawn from the following sources: