About the FASD Prevention Project
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, or FASD, is the single most common cause of intellectual/developmental disabilities that is 100% preventable. The goal of the FASD Prevention Project is to increase health care provider knowledge of the risks alcohol can pose to a fetus and encourage the use of FASD prevention strategies and provide educational opportunities to health care providers, specifically family practitioners, internists, pediatricians, obstetrician/gynecologists, physician assistants, midwives, nurse practitioners, registered/licensed practical nurses, mental health therapists, substance use therapists, and community health representatives.
Consuming alcohol during pregnancy can harm a developing fetus and cause FASD. FASD includes a range of effects which can have a lifelong impact on children and their families. FASD is entirely preventable if women do not drink alcohol while pregnant, but survey data shows that up to 25% of women continue to drink during pregnancy. Research with health care providers and women of childbearing age indicates that many professionals advise women that light to moderate consumption of alcohol, especially later in pregnancy, is safe. This clearly demonstrates the continuing and critical need for effective education of health care providers on the dangers of drinking during pregnancy. Several evidence-based screening tools and intervention strategies have been shown to be effective with pregnant women however, these are not widely used. The prevalence of FASD supports the need for greater education, alcohol screening and intervention with women at risk of alcohol-exposed pregnancy.
The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Prevention Project is a national initiative of The Arc funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) through a $1.3 million Cooperative Agreement (Grant number: U1HMC26371.) This national-scale effort will be carried out in collaboration with our national partners and The Arc’s network of almost 700 chapters. The FASD Prevention Project will work to create and disseminate culturally competent written and video materials, host webinars, peer learning communities, deliver conference presentations, and develop a CE course. Materials will equip health care providers with tools for screening and intervention for at-risk patients.