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One Day Workshop – Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Hiding in Plain Sight

17th December 2021

Fri 8th April 10am to 2pm


Do you know that Foetal Alcohol Spectrum disorder (FASD) is the most common neurodevelopmental condition in the western world?  It is believed to affect one in 20 people in the UK, making it more common than autism or ADHD but less well known.

Ireland is estimated to have the world’s highest rates of prenatal alcohol consumption in the world, with the UK ranking fourth highest (The Lancet, 2017). This leaves children in Northern Ireland particularly vulnerable to exposure.

Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is an umbrella term that covers a range of conditions caused by exposure to alcohol during pregnancy. All areas of foetal development can be impacted, resulting in lifelong disability and disadvantage. LAC children and those from socially deprived areas are particularly at risk. Yet low awareness and challenges with diagnosis has resulted in healthcare professional confusion about the condition, low diagnostic rates, misdiagnosis and poor data.

Consequently, many children may go through life with an inaccurate diagnosis such as ADHD or autism spectrum disorder. Crucially, inappropriate treatments and support, and a lack of targeted interventions, could deprive children and adults with FASD of important opportunities to fulfil their potential.

This workshop aims to:

  • Examine the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on children.
  • Recognise the signs and symptoms that might suggest FASD
  • Consider the lifelong impacts of FASD
  • Hear about the needs of individuals and families impacted by FASD
  • Discuss the importance of a diagnosis
  • Highlight the need to develop innovative approaches to support.