Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are the range of conditions that can be caused by prenatal alcohol exposure. Current estimates put the prevalence of FASD in the UK at around 3%, making it the most common neurodevelopmental disorder in the country; yet knowledge, understanding and services are severely lacking. FASD mostly affects brain development, and without appropriate support, people with FASD can struggle at school and work, socially, can suffer with mental health problems, may be vulnerable to abuse, and may be at risk of getting into trouble with the police. However, studies show that recognition and support can reduce the risk of these kinds of outcomes.
Researchers at the University of Salford are currently involved in three research projects directly related to FASD, and in terms of funding and activity represent the most active FASD research group in the UK. This talk by one of its members, Alan Price, will provide a brief introduction to the field of FASD, followed by a description of our past and current projects, including the country’s first gold-standard FASD prevalence study, and the first parents and carers’ training course for FASD.