A continuum of permanent birth defects caused by maternal consumption of alcohol during pregnancy, the effects of which can include physical problems and problems with behaviour and learning. A person with FASD might have abnormal facial features, small head size, shorter than average height, low body weight, poor coordination, hyperactivity, difficulty paying attention, poor memory, difficulty in school (especially with math), learning disabilities, speech and language delays, intellectual disability or low IQ, poor reasoning and judgment skills, sleep and sucking problems as a baby, vision and hearing problems and/or problems with the heart, kidneys or bones. Different terms are used to describe FASDs depending on the type of symptoms. Included are Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), which represents the severe end of the FASD spectrum and is characterized by abnormal facial features, growth problems and central nervous system (CNS) problems; Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND) which is characterized by intellectual disabilities and problems with behaviour and learning; and Alcohol Related Birth Defects (ARBD) which is characterized by problems with the heart, kidneys or bones and/or with hearing. Alcohol Related Birth Defects (ARBD) was previously known as Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE).
Infants and children who are at risk for developmental delays or other problems because of congenital abnormalities; perinatal medical complications including anoxia, low birth weight, prematurity, respiratory distress syndrome, or metabolic or central nervous system disorders; medical problems that have their onset following birth; or environmental factors including elements of risk that relate to the mother (minimal education, lack of prenatal care, history of drug abuse, pregnancy when younger than age 18 or older than age 35, having a developmental disability, having a sexually transmitted disease) or lack of appropriate stimulation during infancy and early childhood due to neglect, poverty or social isolation.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles: Copyright Notice.