Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is the general term used to describe the range of adverse fetal effects associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder includes recognized patterns of alcohol-related fetal effects, including abnormalities that are physical, mental, or behavioral (or a combination of those abnormalities), and learning disabilities. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is the effect that has the most explicit clinical diagnostic criteria, based on a specific constellation of physical, behavioral, and cognitive abnormalities.

Exact data are difficult to obtain, but Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studies identified 6 to 9 cases of FAS per 1,000 live births in the United States. As a group, FASD occurs at up to 5% of US births, correlated by women reporting continued use of alcohol during pregnancy. The FASD diagnosis remains among the most commonly identified causes of developmental delay, intellectual disability, and school function difficulties, but it is...

You do not currently have access to this content.