Skip to content

First published Thursday 16 July 2020.

About Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is a diagnostic term for severe neurodevelopmental impairments that result from brain damage caused by alcohol exposure before birth. People with FASD have impairments that are permanent and negatively impact on their development. FASD affects the ability to think, learn, focus attention and control behaviour and emotions. They may also be impulsive and often have low self-esteem and mental health problems. These impairments may also lead to problems at school, socially unacceptable behaviour, alcohol and other drug use, and early interactions with the justice system. FASD is a lifelong condition and there is no ‘cure’. Early diagnosis and interventions for the child with FASD and family support, strategies and services will help manage the impairments and allow the child to lead the best life possible.

In Western Australia, the prevalence of FASD is estimated to be 0.3 per 1000 births, but this is acknowledged to be an underestimate. In one high-risk area, 19% of 7-8-year-old children were found to have FASD.

Mailing list

Be Inspired

Join thousands of active subscribers and hear about the brave kids, dedicated researchers, and world-leading science at Telethon Kids Institute.

Lead Source:

We guarantee 100% privacy. Your information will not be shared.


Media Contacts

Please direct general enquiries to our reception on (08) 6319 1000.

Please direct media enquiries to our media team:

Derry Simpson
Head of Brand & Strategic Communication
Telethon Kids Institute
Phone: 08 6319 1065 (office) or 0402 215 436 (mobile)
Email: Derry Simpson

Tammy Gibbs 
Senior Communications Manager 
Phone: 08 6319 1645 (office) or 0408 946 698 (mobile)
Email: Tammy Gibbs