We've assembled resources related to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) to raise awareness of individuals with an FASD, promote screening for prenatal exposure to alcohol and encourage referral for diagnostic evaluations for an FASD. The goal is to build the capacity of pediatricians, nonphysician clinicians, and allied health professionals to ensure that all individuals with an FASD, and their families, receive a diagnosis and care in their medical home for any condition along the FASD continuum.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Overview
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is an umbrella term describing a broad range of adverse developmental effects that can occur in an individual with prenatal exposure to alcohol. A child or adolescent with an FASD may have a combination of physical, neurodevelopmental, neurocognitive, and behavioral problems with each manifesting a range of severity. It is not known how many people in the United States have an FASD. Several initial studies, using active case findings of school-aged children, indicate that 1% to 5% of children in the United States may have an FASD. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data indicate that approximately 12% of pregnancies may have alcohol exposure.
An FASD diagnosis provides families, pediatricians and nonphysician clinicians a framework for understanding an individual’s behavior. Science indicates that therapeutic interventions, special education and support services improve outcomes for patients and families. The protective effect of early diagnosis can reduce the risk of additional disabilities and mitigate lifelong consequences. Ongoing care in a supportive pediatric home is an important component to achieving health and wellbeing for any child with an FASD and their family.
Policy and Recommendations
Links to applicable AAP policy, clinical reports, and select scientific resources.
Professional Tools & Resources
Diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (20-minute video)
Printable Fact Sheets
Developmental and Behavioral Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure
Dysmorphic Facial Features of FASDs
Screening for Prenatal Alcohol Exposure: An Implementation Guide
Podcasts and Voices Blogs
Learn what others are saying. Listen to FASD related podcasts and read blog posts.
Pediatrics Research Roundup, Destigmatizing Substance Use Disorder – Episode 120
In this episode Alex R. Kemper, MD, MPH, MS, FAAP, deputy editor of Pediatrics, shares a research roundup from the July issue of the journal. Hosts David Hill, MD, FAAP, and Joanna Parga-Belinkie, MD, FAAP, also talk with Rachel Alinsky, MD, MPH, FAAP, about a new policy statement on recommended terminology for substance use disorders.
Pediatrics on Call|
July 5, 2022
Treating Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Without Bias – Episode 110
In this episode Douglas Waite, MD, FAAP, member of the executive committee of the AAP Council on Foster Care, Adoption, and Kinship Care, offers practical ways to detect Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and help families receive treatment. Hosts David Hill, MD, FAAP, and Joanna Parga-Belinkie, MD, FAAP, also talk with Peggy Way, whose 38-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, about communicating with compassion.
Pediatrics on Call|
April 12, 2022
Let’s Start Normalizing Discussions About Alcohol with Patients
Alcohol is one of the most widely used substances in the world. In the United States, about 90% of adults report use at some point. It is a causal factor in more than 200 diseases and injury conditions, and it causes more than 90,000 deaths each year.” Amelia Burgess, MD, MPH, FAAP, FASAM, is a board-certified pediatrician and addiction specialist. She tells us more about decreasing stigma and how to provide appropriate information to children and families.
September 30, 2021
American Academy of Pediatrics