FASD has no cure and is often misdiagnosed, but there is hope and help for those affected

By Carol Rääbus

Young woman with long blonde hair sitting looking out to sea.
Most people with FASD don’t have any physical differences and can go many years without knowing why they may struggle with some aspects of life.(Unsplash: Zachary Staine)

“It’s affecting people in plain sight and nobody knows,” Jessica* says.

Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is the leading non-genetic cause of disability in children.

FASD refers to a range of neurodevelopmental impairments that are caused by exposure to alcohol before birth.

Alcohol can cause brain damage to the developing fetus, which can affect the person’s physical health, cognition and mental health throughout their life.

But advocacy groups say many children and adults could be missing out on the help they need because their FASD is going undiagnosed, with problems at school and odd behaviour often written off as just a “phase”.

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Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-30/living-with-foetal-alcohol-spectrum-disorder/13054876

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