By Carol Rääbus
“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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