FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME
This is very common in international adoption (here in the US too) so I thought I would post a little bit about it.
So what is it?
FAS is a lifelong yet completely preventable set of physical, mental and neurobehavioral birth defects associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
FAS is the leading known cause of mental retardation and birth defects. Did I mention that it is 100% preventable?
Prenatal alcohol exposure does not always result in FAS—although there is no known safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Most individuals affected by alcohol exposure before birth do not have the characteristic facial abnormalities and growth retardation identified with FAS, yet they have brain and other impairments that are just as significant.
Individuals with FAS may have growth deficiency and evidence of central nervous system dysfunction, mental retardation, and other neurological deficits such as poor motor skills and hand-eye coordination. They may also have a complex pattern of behavioral and learning problems, including difficulties with memory, attention and judgment.
Alcohol related disorders affect more newborns every year than Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, spina bifida and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome combined. THIS IS 100% PREVENTABLE!
To read more about FAS or to be an advocate for activities and policy-making related to FAS please refer to the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.