From PBS NewsHour: Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are more common than you think

July 23, 2018

Originally published on PBS NewHour by: Amna Nawaz

Part 1: “Fetal alcohol disorders are more common than you think”

“Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), a possible result from mothers drinking during pregnancy, has flown under the radar for decades. Now new conservative estimates published in The Journal of the American Medical Association show that anywhere from 1.1 to 5 percent of the U.S. population is affected, meaning it could be more common than autism.” Amna Nawaz reports.

Part 2: “Why do pregnant women get confusing guidance about alcohol?”

“How much alcohol can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, a difficult to diagnose the condition, sometimes called an “invisible disability”? Doctors don’t know. While official guidelines say no amount of alcohol is safe to drink during pregnancy, women often receive mixed signals, even from their own physicians.” Amna Nawaz reports.

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PBS NewsHour and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders FASD The story about drinking while pregnant that got our newsroom talking

On tonight’s PBS NewsHour, National Correspondent Amna Nawaz reports from Minnesota on a subject often referred to as the “invisible disability:” Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, or FASD, which can occur when a mother drinks during pregnancy. Symptoms, which include impulse control, hyperactivity and short attention span, can look a lot like ADHD, and a recent study shows that as much as 5 percent of the U.S. population could be affected. This means it could be more common than autism. Many children with FASD go through multiple misdiagnoses and many don’t ever get diagnosed.

Here Nawaz joins producer Lorna Baldwin and Dr. Amber Robins, a NewsHour medical fellow, to discuss the reporting that went into the piece and the people they met living with the disorder.

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