|What are the primary characteristics and symptoms of FASD?
Characteristics of FASD fall into five broad categories:
- Maternal alcohol exposure (may or may not be able to be confirmed)
- Facial anomalies (may or may not be present)
- Growth retardation
Babies’ heads are smaller than normal. Young children are small and slender. They don’t gain weight in a normal way, even when on high-nutrition diets. Their weight is very low compared to their height.
- Central nervous system problems
This includes structural brain abnormalities as well as neurodevelopmental problems, such as difficulty feeding, poor eye-hand coordination and gait problems.
- Cognitive deficits
This includes a wide range of learning and behavioral problems.
In addition, birth defects may co-exist because of the global damage that alcohol causes to a developing fetus.