Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol. It is the leading cause of preventable birth defects. In all cases, the brain has been damaged. For those affected, FAS presents a lifetime of challenges. FAS is 100% preventable. If a pregnant woman does not drink, her child will not be at risk for FAS. Spouses, partners, family, and friends can all help to prevent FAS by informing others of the risks associated with drinking during pregnancy. We can all encourage and support women to remain alcohol-free during pregnancy.

Recommended Books

Badry, D. and Lawryk, L. (eds.). (2000). Letters to Our Children, Letters from Our Children: Living with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Alcohol Related Effects.    Alberta Association for Community Living. Paper. 113 pages.    "This is not a clinical textbook but a collection of stories written from the heart by parents, relatives, and caregivers who love their children and children who know they live life with a difference. This book is about hope."

Buxton, B. (2004). Damaged Angels: A Mother Discovers the Terrible Cost of Alcohol in Pregnancy. Knopf Canada. Paperback. 336 pages. This book “weaves the story of (the author’s) children and many other individuals together with the best opinions for treatment and intervention that are in the literature and being presented in work shops. This is a …story of family hopes and frustrations, and eventual successes and failures. It is a must read for anyone caring for a person with FASD or considering it.”

Conry, J. (1996). Teaching Students with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Effects: A Resource Guide for Teachers. B.C Ministry of Education. 94 pages. This guide provides teachers with information on challenges faced by children with FAS/E and lists strategies for the classroom teacher.

Cook, P., Kellie, R., Jones, K. & Goossen, L. (2000). Tough Kids and Substance Abuse: a drug awareness program for children and adolescents with ARND, FAS, FAE and cognitive disabilities. Addictions Foundation of Manitoba. Paper. 292 pages. “…This new drug awareness program targeted to “tough kids” provides educators and other youth community professionals with practical strategies related to educating this group about alcohol, inhalant and other drug issues.”

deBree, R. (2001). Your Victory: A Happy Child…Supportive Strategies for the Staff of Children’s Summer Camps and Recreation Programs. Duncan, B.C. Paper Booklet. 23 pages. This booklet provides basic information on FAS and strategies for staff who will be coordinating or working with children in recreational and summer programs.

Dorris, M. (1989). The Broken Cord. Harper Collins. Paperback. 288 pages. This book was written by Michael Dorris to chronicle the life of his son, Adam who was born with FAS. It received the 1989 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 1989 Christopher Award. It was also named as a Notable Book of 1989 by the American Library Association, Booklist, and Library Journal.

FASNET Information Series. (1995). Layman’s Guide to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects. FAS/E Support Network of B.C. Paper. 52 pages. This guide answers many of the frequently asked questions about FAS/E including history, diagnosis, and characteristics of children with FAS/E at different stages of their lives.

FASNET Information Series. (1997). FAS/E and Education: The Art of Making a Difference. FAS/E Support Network of B.C. Paper. 50 pages. "A parents’ handbook – what parents need to know to advocate within the education system."

FASNET Information Series. (1997). So Your Child has FAS/E: What You Need to Know. FAS/E Support Network of B.C. Paper. 20 pages. "A handbook for parents of children newly diagnosed with FAS/E."

FASNET Information Series. (1997). Dear World: We Have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome – Experiences of Young Adults. FAS/E Support Network of B.C. Paper. 20 pages. "This booklet was written with the help of a group of young people with FAS/E. It is meant to be a guide to help other young people with FAS/E understand what FAS/E is and what it means to them."

FASNET Information Series. (1997). My Name is Amanda and I Have Fetal Alcohol Effects – A Book for Young Children with FAS/E. FAS/E Support Network of B.C. Paper. 16 pages. A booklet about Amanda and her brother Jason who both have FAS/E. It explains in a very simple way what FAS/E is and how children are affected by it.”

FASNET Information Series. (1995). Screening Tools. FAS/E Support Network of B.C. Paper. 13 pages. . "There are different screening tools available to assess individuals as to the need for referral to determine the possibility of alcohol related birth defects. Please ensure that you use the appropriate screening tool as the indicators vary depending on the age of individuals."

Graefe, S. (1998). Parenting Children Affected by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: A Guide for Daily Living – 2nd edition. Society of Special Needs Adoptive Parents. Paper. 75 pages. This parent/caregiver guide outlines the challenges faced by parents of children affected with FAS/E. It contains many easy to implement strategies.

Froehlich, E. , Robinson, M., Spack, C. & Tozeland, J. (2003). TIPS: Thoughts, Ideas, Practices and Strategies for Working Effectively with Children Who Have Alcohol Related Disorders. Child Guidance Clinic. Paper. 73 pages. “A guiding principle of the authors was that, although all children have the capacity to learn, they do not all learn in the same way. These suggestions are intended for teaching children with ARD.”