What is FASD?

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause irreversible damage to an unborn baby.  If a baby is prenatally exposed to alcohol, they are at risk for having Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).  FASD is not a diagnosis, but is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur when a developing baby is prenatally exposed to alcohol. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications. There are many terms under the FASD umbrella, including these medical diagnoses:

  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
  • Alcohol Related Neuro-developmental Disorders (ARND)
  • Alcohol Related Birth Defects (ARBD)
  • Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (pFAS)

FASD is a lifetime disability that affects each child differently.  Some children with an FASD have specific facial features and tend to be smaller in height and weight. They often have brain injury that never goes away. This means both the child’s thought process and behaviors may be very different than a child who was not prenatally exposed to alcohol. The brain damage is the most challenging part of this disability.

Find support for and learn more about FASD in your family, as an expectant woman, or as a professional.

Share this page:

Training & Webinars

MOFAS is the statewide source for comprehensive, customized trainings on FASD for professionals.

Learn More

Family Support

We provide guidance and support for families living with an FASD.

Get Support


We host events, classes, support groups and more across Minnesota. There's something for everyone.

See Our Calendar
Toll-Free: 1-866-90-MOFAS (66327)  •  Primary Phone: 651-917-2370  •  2233 University Avenue West, Suite 395, St. Paul, Minnesota 55114
Copyright © 2015 Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome | Photos by Amy Zellmer, Custom Creations Photography.

This site is provided to families and professionals as an informative site on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). It is not intended to replace professional medical, psychological, behavioral, legal, nutritional or educational counsel. Reference to any specific agency does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by MOFAS.