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FASD Awareness Day

Andy and Helen


Gateshead adoptive mum speaks out about FASD

An adoptive mum of three young adults, all diagnosed with a form of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), is urging mums-to-be across the country to avoid drinking alcohol in pregnancy.

Helen, a writer from Gateshead, is speaking about the impact FASD can have on families this International FASD Awareness Day (September 9th). FASD is a term given for a range of preventable mental and physical disabilities that can be caused when a developing baby is exposed to alcohol in the womb.

The UK has the fourth highest level of prenatal alcohol use in the world and it is estimated that 6,000 – 7,000 children may be born each year with FASD in the UK .

According to a 2018 study undertaken by Bristol University , between 6 and 17 per cent of children could have symptoms consistent with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, screening positive for symptoms of FASD .

Helen and her husband Andy have two birth sons, aged 27 and 23, and adopted three children from a young age – a daughter, now 21, son, now 17 and their youngest daughter, now 16. Their three adopted children have all subsequently been diagnosed with ARND (Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder which comes under the umbrella of FASD).

Read more here.