FASD is a life-long condition. Without life-long supports, people with FASD too often live lives of isolation, loneliness and poverty.
Prenatal exposure to alcohol (wine, beer, coolers, cocktails) is the leading cause of preventable mental retardation in the industrialized world.
Research in 1996 reports that in Canada and the United States:
- 3/10,000 children will be born with muscular dystrophy
- 4/10,000 children will be born with HIV infections
- 4/10,000 will be born with Cystic Fibrosis
- 8/10,000 will be born with Spina Bifida
- 10/10,000 will be born with Down Syndrome
- 20/10,000 will be born with FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome)
- 100/10,000 will be born with ARND (Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder)
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy increases the risk of having a baby with FASD. It is not predictable. There is no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy. The best and safest advice is to abstain from alcohol during pregnancy.
FASD can only occur when a pregnant woman, of any age, consumes alcohol.
Since 1973, we have known scientifically and medically about the risk-factor that alcohol presents to the developing fetus…yet little has changed in our society to prevent FASD.
Binge drinking continues to increase – especially with younger educated women. The risk of more children born with FASD continues to increase as well.
The majority of people with FASD will experience mental health problems, will not complete their education, will experience trouble with the law, will be confined to prison, drug/alcohol treatment centers, or mental institutions, and be victimized by others.
What can you do to make a difference? Become aware. Develop understanding.