Currently, it is estimated that 1 in 100 babies born in Montgomery County, Ohio has an FASD. FASD affects an estimated 40,000 infants each year, which is more than Spina Bifida, Down syndrome, and Muscular Dystrophy combined. (SAMSHA 2003)
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is a term that describes a range of effects that could possibly occur when a pregnant woman consumes alcohol. These effects can include physical, mental, behavioral and/or learning disabilities with lifelong implications and are irreversible.
The four conditions under the FASD umbrella are:
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
- Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (PFAS)
- Neurobehavioral Disorder Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (ND-PAE)
- Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND)
The effects of FASD can vary depending on the timing and the frequency of when alcohol is consumed during pregnancy. Unfortunately, many women do not realize they are pregnant and continue to drink. These effects include:
- Abnormal Facial Characteristics
- Growth Defects
- Brain Damage including mental retardation
- Heart, Lung and Kidney defects
- Hyperactivity and behavioral problems
- Attention and memory problems
- Poor coordination and motor skill delays
- Difficulty with judgment and reasoning
- Learning disabilities
Can FASD be prevented?
Yes, FASD is 100% preventable when pregnant women do not drink alcohol. While this may be easy for some women to stop drinking once pregnant, for others it may be more difficult without help and support.
The Montgomery County FASD Coalition encourages you to help raise awareness and help stop babies being born with an FASD by encouraging women who are pregnant not to drink alcohol.
Activities sponsored by the coalition are:
- Participation in local community events such as health fairs
- Monthly FASD Network Group
- Trainings such as: Screening, Intervention, Referral and Treatment Training, Triumph through the challenges of FASD
- Speakers available upon request
- National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- Double ARC
- The ARC - for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Crisis Care
- Montomery County Alcohol, Drug Addition and Mental Health Services