Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a common condition that affects a substantial number of children, adolescents, and adults. Individuals can manifest FASD in a variety of ways, with many comorbidities. They can present with birth defects, learning difficulties, intellectual disability, academic struggles, behavioral and psychiatric issues (eg, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, depression, and drug and alcohol addiction), and difficulties with the law, with a risk for incarceration, unemployment, poverty, and dependency.1 Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder is important because it can potentially be prevented, and early recognition and diagnosis can lead to earlier interventions and supports that are associated with improved outcomes.2 Prevention is important because FASD is associated with a high cost to affected individuals, families, systems of care, and communities.
Chudley AE. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder—High Rates, High Needs, High Time for Action. JAMA Pediatr. Published online August 21, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.2232