Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a diagnostic term describing a spectrum of effects to an individual who was prenatally exposed to alcohol. As a result, the alcohol altered brain development and these individuals grow up with physical, mental, social and emotional disabilities that will last their lifetime. It is a brain disorder where there is no cure, only prevention.
It is important to remember that many individuals with FASD do NOT have the physical characteristics. As a result, FASD is often referred to as a hidden brain-based disability that is lifelong.
Under the 2015 Diagnostic Guidelines, the diagnostic terms include:
FASD with Sentinel Facial Features
Small opening between the eye lids (palpebral fissure)
Smooth or flattened area between nose and upper lip (philtrum)
Thin upper lip
Impaired brain function – 3 or more domains affected; in the case of infants and young children having an abnormally small head
Confirmed or unconfirmed maternal alcohol exposure
FASD without Sentinel Facial Features