Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)


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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (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, behavioural and learning disabilities.


The primary disabilities associated with FASD are difficulties with attention, filtering sensory information, language, memory, planning and initiating activities, regulating emotions and life skills. Often these children and youth have normal intelligence but have difficulty using the information they have in an organized fashion.


FASD is often referred to as the invisible disability. Due to the fact we cannot see the disability it often goes misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. If those diagnosed with FASD are not properly understood and supported at home, at school and in the community they can develop secondary characteristics such as poor school experiences, trouble with the law, drug or alcohol addiction, problems with employment and mental health disorders.


Lutherwood, in consultation with the Waterloo Region FASD Diagnostic Steering Committee and the Waterloo Region FASD Action Group, launched a new website with helpful information about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and services available in Waterloo Region. KidsAbility is a member of the Waterloo Region FASD Action Group lending our voice and expertise to this table.


Located at www.fasdwaterlooregion.ca, this site offers strategies, tips and community supports for families. Included are resources for educators and other professionals that can be used when supporting children and youth diagnosed under FASD. This site was made possible through a grant from the Ministry of Child and Youth Services.