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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a diagnostic term used to describe a group of neurodevelopmental (or brain) impairments that result from exposure to alcohol before birth.

Alcohol is a teratogen (toxin); teratogens are known to cause abnormalities and birth defects following exposure during pregnancy. Alcohol affects the normal development of a fetus, including the brain and other organs.

These impairments can include difficulties with physical activities, language, memory, learning and behaviour. FASD is a ‘spectrum’ because there is a wide variation in the type and severity of impairments people experience.

Learn more by reading our fact sheet for students:
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Overview of FASD in Australia