Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is an umbrella term that describes a wide range of effects that can occur in an individual who was exposed to alcohol during pregnancy.
FASD is lifelong and often it is an invisible disability. An FASD brain is a damaged brain and it cannot be repaired. A person with FASD will need support throughout each stage of their lives.
Indiana Alliance on Prenatal Substance Exposure (shorthanded as Indiana Alliance or IAPSE) works to prevent prenatal exposure to alcohol, drug and other substances known to harm fetal development by education, advocating and supporting professionals policymakers, families and individuals throughout Indiana.
Indiana Alliance joins the United States Surgeon General in advising women to abstain from alcohol during pregnancy due to the risk of birth defects.
FASD is a preventable condition
For couples who are expecting where the birth mother has been consuming alcohol, stop consuming alcohol now and talk with your doctor. Any time during pregnancy that you abstain from alcohol, you increase the chance that your child will not be affected by alcohol. If you are finding it difficult to stop, help is available.
We’re here to provide a personal perspective, the latest recommendations, and the science-based facts about the risk of prenatal alcohol exposure.
Parents & Caregivers
Indiana Alliance is here to help make your daily life easier. Whether worried about an infant, struggling raising an adolescent, encountering challenges working with an adult, or as an educator having difficulty with a student with an FASD, we hope you find this website useful.
With each stage of life providing a new challenge, we understand that simple and practical solutions can be invaluable to parents & caregivers.
Adults Living with FASD
FASD is widely understood to be a hidden disability. Even among those who do recognize FASD, the focus is often on children and not adults with the disorders. As individuals with FASD enter adulthood, they and their family members and caregivers face additional challenges.
Indiana Alliance has compiled a list of resources and information to help adults and caregivers better manage FASD in adulthood.
Professional & Community Support
It is important to identify individuals living with FASD and support them to improve functioning in society. Important support networks include professionals, educators, health care providers, social services, criminal justice system, government officials and policymakers. Relevant topics include education, employment, legal assistance, health care, and housing.
Indiana Alliance maintains a Resource Directory of articles, research, training and other information. This directory also contains contact information for support services, programs and organizations related to FASD including health care providers and clinics.
FASD - Invisible, Complex, and Ever-Changing
Prenatal exposure to alcohol can result in an almost limitless combination of physical and functional birth defects.
The full range of physical and developmental disabilities for any one affected individual may become evident at irregular times through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood.
Preventing disabilities through early diagnosis and intervention—if possible—and coping with the symptoms or consequences of the disabilities becomes the challenge for families and caregivers.
As individuals with FASD enter adulthood, they and their family members and caregivers face additional challenges.
Adults are increasingly vulnerable to the secondary disabilities associated with FASD such as trouble with the law, mental health problems, an inability to live independently, and victimization. Adults are more likely to be unemployed and often struggle to manage the money in their possession.
While a proper diagnosis, access to the best interventions, and a positive environment are beneficial, they often do not prevent secondary disabilities.