SAMHSA Raises Awareness About Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
SAMHSA's Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Center
for Excellence will participate in National FASD Awareness
Day on September 9, 2005, to focus attention on the complications
of drinking during pregnancy. The annual event has been
observed on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year
SAMHSA's FASD Center, launched in 2001, provides national leadership
in the fight against FASD and fosters collaboration among service
providers in the field.
The Center is working to improve quality of life for individuals
and families affected by FASD. In particular, the Center's new American
Indian/Alaska Native initiative will focus on FASD in Indian Country.
In 2004, SAMHSA expanded the FASD Center's work to include coordinating
planning and program development by states, community-based organizations,
and criminal justice organizations.
The Center's Web site, an online information resource,
provides science-based information on FASD and local
and national resources. The Center publishes an online
newsletterFASD: Knot Alone.
The Web site's "Grab and Go" section offers downloadable
fact sheets, brochures, and posters.
A wide variety of materials are available from the FASD Center,
including the Center's new educational program, FASDThe
Basics, which can be obtained in several formats, including
A video for women in recovery is also available, and an educational
slide show on FASD service needs, Many Doors, No Master Key,
can be either viewed online or downloaded for presentations. The
video kit, Recovering Hope: Mothers Speak Out About FASD,
includes a discussion guide. A nominal fee of $12 covers video production
In addition to educational materials on FASD, the Center conducts
trainings and meetings across the Nation. So far, more than 10,000
participants in 36 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, England,
and Japan have attended.
The Center also sponsors town hall meetings, which garner support
for states' efforts to build systems for FASD prevention and intervention.
To help local efforts build awareness, the Center offers a brochure
on Planning a Town Hall Meeting on FASD.
Last year, the Center organized a network of birth mothers of children
affected by FASD. The Center also convenes summits for women in
For professionals, several curricula for diverse audiences are
in development, including an online "FASD 101" course
and materials specifically for juvenile justice and addiction professionals.
Additional resources include print public service announcements,
educational rack cards, posters, and a fact sheet series, What
You Need to Know.
For more information, visit www.fasdcenter.samhsa.gov.
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What Is FASD?
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) is an
umbrella term that describes the range of effects
that can occur in an individual whose mother drank
alcohol during pregnancy.
These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or
learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications.
FASD is not a clinical diagnosis.
FASD refers to conditions such as fetal alcohol syndrome
(FAS), alcohol-related neurodevelopment disorder (ARND), and
alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD).
What causes FASD? The sole cause of FASD is drinking alcohol
For persons with FASD, daily activities, such as working,
managing money, and maintaining a home, present huge challenges.
A supportive community is essential for people with FASD.
They need a strong circle of support made up of family members,
mentors, social workers, and others who understand the limitations
For more information, you can download fact sheets
on FASD available at www.fasdcenter.samhsa.gov.
The fact sheets include "Independent Living
for People with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders"
and "Understanding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum
Disorders: Getting a Diagnosis."
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