Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is an umbrella term that refers to primary developmental effects that are the direct result of in-utero alcohol exposure on the developing brain. These effects, particularly those that affect such brain functions as cognition, learning, emotional regulation, and behavioral control — tend to be lifelong and challenging for the individual throughout the lifespan. In addition, many individuals with an FASD, including children, may not have any observable physical signs, thereby often making this condition an invisible disorder. Despite these challenges, FASDs can be identified and diagnosed, the earlier the better. Despite the irreversibility of the primary effects of an FASD, it is erroneous to conclude that early identification is a waste of time. This article considers thirty reasons why early FASD identification truly matters.

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Credit / Sources

Article by Gordon R. Hodas MD, statewide child psychiatric consultant, Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS). This article was originally published in the OMHSAS statewide recovery website, Parecovery.org.  It was also published at Scribdb.com on their website. 

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