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Research-based interventions for children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder exist, but few get access.

Emma Yasinski

UNDARK January 30, 2021 

Patients don’t just go undiagnosed, but often are misdiagnosed, said Annika Montag, an epidemiologist and public health scientist at the University of California San Diego. She and her team conducted a study, published in September 2022, for which they screened kids who were receiving services at their local community center for diagnoses such as autism or ADHD, and found that about 7 percent of them likely had an undiagnosed FASD. “The takeaway is children have not been diagnosed with FASD, despite being under medical care,” said Montag. They’re not getting optimal care.”

“If you’re trying to match a strategy to a student, you’ve got to know what you’re looking at,” said Rachel Feiler Teacher/Researcher in California. I’ve seen students I thought might have FASD but I’ve never had an IEP, an individualized education plan, come to me with that diagnosis in it. Ever."

The overlooked toll of drinking alcohol while pregnant

National Geographic

Emma Yasinski

"When Sam was a teenager, Joel took him to a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder diagnostic clinic in Minnesota. 'It wasn't until 14 years into our son’s life that we really started to connect the dots,' that the prenatal exposure to alcohol affected his development and behavior, says Sheagren, a filmmaker in Minnesota. He was surprised. 'This is such a prevalent issue, he says. How come I didn’t know?'

Estimates suggest up to 5 percent of people in the U.S have fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Here's how scientists and activists are working toward better diagnosis and treatments."

FASD Hope Podcast

A Conversation

with Dr. Douglas Waite MD

AAP FASD Champion

Chief of Developmental Pediatrics of the BronxCare Health System 

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

March 17, 2023


Live Online

Christie Petrenko PhD

University of Rochester

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are lifelong and affect 2-5% of the population. People with FASD often seek mental health care, but few providers can recognize and serve them effectively. Learn important principles and skills of FASD-informed care to benefit the children, adults, and families with FASD in your practice.

Register here



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75% of children with an FASD have an attention problem and may be diagnosed with ADHD without considering other diagnoses. Attention deficits in children with an FASD without ADHD may derive from deficiencies in executive functioning skills, short-term memory, the ability to shift attention, slower processing speed. Medications for ADHD may worsen symptoms in children with FASD.

AAP Case Study 

Individuals with FASD

Speak Up 

“Being informed helps people understand and accept their condition so they can understand and accept themselves,” said Myles Himmelreich, an FASD activist and researcher who also has an FASD.

"Being able to talk to someone with FASD about these shared experiences can empower people to help and mentor others,” he added. 

The body-behavior connection

A person with FASD

shares their experience

Listen to an interview

with other 

FASD Changemakers 

Another presentation by

Myles Himmelreich

FASD Strong

 People with FASD share their stories

Choline Supplementation

as a

Neurodevelopmental Intervention in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Study (CHOLINE4)

Clinical Trial

Jeff Wozniak PhD

University of Minnesota

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Open Recruitment

Ages 30 to 72 months

 Study details click arrow

Prenatal Alcohol Exposure Choline Video(2015)

For more information about Choline 

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Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disabilities in the Western world and yet it remains a highly misunderstood, multi-faceted brain and body disability that affects many people in our communities. This lack of understanding about the complexities of FASD leads to blaming, shaming, stigma, discrimination and racism that causes harm to people with FASD and their families. It also leads to people with FASD getting almost no supports or services. We all need to be more informed, understanding and supportive of children and youth with FASD and their families.

Canada FASD Research Network


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