September 9 is International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day

First recognized in 1999, International FASD Awareness Day helps raise awareness of the society that the effects of alcohol use during pregnancy are one of the main causes of congenital anomalies and developmental disorders in children, which are 100% preventable.

FASD are observed even more often than Down syndrome. Why so? According to the research data, more than 80% of women drink alcohol before pregnancy, and 3 to 20% do not give it up when gestating a child. Studies show that women do not always have enough information about the harm to the development of the child that alcohol causes during pregnancy, and therefore do not stop the use of alcohol during pregnancy.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual who is exposed to alcohol during the nine month prenatal period before birth. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications. It is believed that the frequency of FASD in children is 1%. Diagnostic terms under the FASD umbrella are:

  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) – the most severe consequence of prenatal exposure to alcohol. The FAS rates in Ukraine according to the OMNI-Net Birth Defects Program are 0.5-0.6 per 1,000 newborns.
  • Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (PFAS) – means that not all criteria for the diagnosis of FAS are present or the consequences of prenatal exposure to alcohol are less severe.
  • Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND) – when there are no obvious physical signs that indicate prenatal exposure to alcohol, but brain damage is suspected.

Alcohol kills and deforms children – those who survive and are not malformed, often are mentally subnormal (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or FASD).
No women that may become pregnant or is pregnant should consume alcohol.
OMNI-Net studies show that FASD children often become “social orphans” – 41% are found in state orphanages or institutions and 7% are dead by 1 year of age!
Drinking alcohol is not an entertainment for women who may become pregnant. Alcohol kills children!

More information can be found in our websites:

  1. Webinars and tutorials with an emphasis on visual signs, recognition of signals and the process of synthesis to formulate diagnoses related to the effects of alcohol:
  1. Keynote presentations of outstanding scientists:
    • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders – perspectives. A lecture delivered in 2013 by Dr. Kenneth Warren (Director of the National Institute of Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse) – in English with Ukrainian translation.
    • Diagnosis of the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. A presentation made by Prof. Kenneth L. Jones (Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA) at the Ukrainian Catholic University (Lviv, Ukraine) in April 2017 – In English with Ukrainian translation.
    • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and Developmental Outcomes. A presentation made by Prof. Claire D. Coles (Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA) at the Ukrainian Catholic University (Lviv, Ukraine) in April 2017 – In English with Ukrainian translation.
  1. Understanding FASD and Advocating for Children: A Guide for Caregivers (in Ukrainian)
  2. A Child for Life. A 22-minute educational film explaining Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and including interviews with experts, families and children affected by FASD. It was produced by NOFAS United Kingdom (NOFASUK) and translated into Ukrainian by Ukraine Works Ltd (Anne Linden, Director)
  3. Training programs for children with developmental disabilities and FASD:
  1. Informational factsheets about Fetal Alcohol Spetrum Disorders:
  1. Carousels – a mode to facilitate memorization and grasp of notions of medical terminology through linkages of word-roots with images:

Public Organization “Children with FASD – this applies to ALL of US” have been created in Ukraine. It unites parents who raise children with FASD.

Updated: 2020/09/08 — 15:17