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FASDs - Learn More

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) are often diagnosed based on the complete set of characteristics in an individual. The effects of FASDs can vary in their presentation over the course of an individual’s lifespan. The characteristics that may be seen in individuals with FASDs at different times in their lives may include:

Growth deficiency
  • In height
  • In weight
  • In both height and weight
  • Small size until puberty when “catch up” growth is common
Specific facial characteristics

(These are often most notable in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.)

  • Smooth philtrum (The philtrum are the two vertical ridges between the nose and mouth.)
  • Short palpebral fissures (Palpebral fissures are the openings for the eye between the eyelids.)
  • Thin upper lip
  • Flat midface
  • Short upturned nose
  • Underdevelopment of the upper ear

Central nervous system dysfunction
  • Microcephaly (small brain size)
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Hyperactivity
  • Attention deficits
  • Impulsivity
  • Distractibility
  • Difficulty with abstraction
  • Challenges with
    • Gross Motor
    • Fine Motor
    • Sensory integration
    • Memory
    • Processing information
  • Learning disabilities
  • Developmental delays
  • Intellectual disabilities
Other physical effects
  • Heart defects
  • Skeletal defects
    • Fused bones in arms, fingers, hands, and toes
  • Vision and hearing problems
  • Kidney and liver defects
  • Dental abnormalities