Being aware and informed about FASD
Alcohol can cause damage to the developing baby at any time during pregnancy, often before a pregnancy has been confirmed. The level of harm is dependent on a wide range of factors, making it impossible to predict the outcome of alcohol exposure to any individual pregnancy. Factors include the amount and frequency of the mother’s alcohol use, age, health (nutrition, tobacco and other substance use, mental health) and environmental factors such as stress.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a diagnostic term used to describe the impacts on the brain and body of people prenatally exposed to alcohol. FASD is a lifelong disability.
Individuals with FASD will experience some degree of challenges in their daily living and may need support to develop motor skills and strengthen their learning, memory, attention and communication skills.
Their physical health requires assessment and monitoring, and they may struggle with emotional regulation and appropriate social skills. However, early intervention and understanding will assist people living with FASD to reach their full potential.
Each person with FASD is unique and has areas of both strengths and challenges.
The importance of the role of Out-of-home care sector workers
People involved in Out-of-Home Care (OOHC) play a central role in recognising and supporting the needs of children and young people with FASD. The new resources for Out-of-Home Care (OOHC) sector workers, highlight the prevalence of FASD in OOHC and the importance of considering that behaviours and challenges experienced by children and young people, could also be due to prenatal alcohol exposure.