CECW Information Sheet #33E. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto, Faculty of Social Work.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a serious social and health problem for the child welfare, health and education systems in North America. The term FASD describes a wide range of disorders caused by women drinking alcohol during pregnancy. These include Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), Partial FAS, Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND) and Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD). Characteristics of FASD include growth deficiency, evidence of central nervous system neurodevelopmental abnormalities that result in intellectual and developmental delay, and facial dysmorphology (changes in the shape of the face). Children with alcohol-related disorders often have cognitive and behavioural difficulties that cause them to have problems in school and society.