Raising Awareness about FASD: How it Affects Development

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — September 3, 2019 — 2 min read

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a condition that presents irregular physical traits, developmental disabilities and social and behavioral disabilities among children as a result of a mother consuming alcohol while pregnant.

Statistics show that 50.6% of childbearing-aged women in North Carolina use alcohol. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that one in nine pregnant women reported drinking alcohol and among those pregnant women, one-third reported binge drinking.

Signs and symptoms of FASD include: abnormal facial features, low body weight, learning disabilities, speech delays and even complications with the heart and kidney.

Although not every individual affected by FASD shows physical signs or symptoms, the disorder causes brain damage in many children. Unfortunately, there is no cure for FASD, however the disorder can be properly cared for by a health provider.

It is important to note that no two people with FASD will require the same treatment, however there are many different treatment plans to help combat FASD symptoms.

Early intervention services are important to improve a child’s development. It is beneficial for children between the ages of birth and 3 years old to take advantage of therapy to help the child learn to talk, walk and interact with others. Children diagnosed with FASD at a later age may benefit better from special education programs and social services.

Those diagnosed with FASD may also benefit from medical care and/or medications. It is recommended that you seek the proper treatment plan from your doctor.

September is FASD Awareness Month and on September 9 it is International FASD Awareness Day.

Since September 9, 1999, International FASD Awareness Day has been observed throughout countries, states, provinces and towns all over the world. Bells are rung at 9:09 a.m. in every time zone across the world. Organizations also host events throughout the month to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking during pregnancy and the lifetime impact on individuals and families.

Organizations in North Carolina host events and provide valuable information on FASD. The FASDinNC and NCFASD Informed are good resources to learn more about the disorder and to also partake in events throughout the year.

Upcoming NCFASD event on September 27, 2019
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Building Understanding and Coalitions
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