As I've mentioned before, I am taking a selective called Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). What makes a diagnosis particularly difficult, is that it is a spectrum disorder and there are varying degrees that do not have well-defined boundaries. FASD encompasses: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Alcohol-Related Birth Defects, Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder, and Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Today we were quite fortunate to have the President and Vice President of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) come speak to our class.
Purpose: NOFAS educates the public, practitioners and policymakers about alcohol use during pregnancy and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) the leading known preventable cause of mental retardation and birth defects, and a leading known cause of learning disabilities in children and adults.
In the past, physicians have sent mixed messages about alcohol consumption during pregnancy. What we know to be true is that alcohol is more detrimental than cocaine, heroine, marijuana to the growing fetus.
We heard from a panel of parents with children who fall under the FASD umbrella, and a high-functioning child with ARND. Their stories were poignant and provided us with insight that we will be able to carry throughout our careers. It will become our job to get help for our patients who might be prone to drinking during pregnancy, and educate our patients as to the risks associated with drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
Check out the website to learn more: www.nofas.org