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FASD Myths & Truths

Myth #1: FASD is readily apparent from a person’s looks.

The Truth: Most people with FASD show no physical facial features of the disability, as there is only a short period of time during the pregnancy when alcohol affects facial features. That is why FASD may be viewed as an “invisible disability.”

Myth #2: It’s okay to drink in moderation during pregnancy.

The Truth: There is no safe time or safe amount of alcohol to drink when pregnant or when planning to become pregnant.

Myth #3: Behaving appropriately is a choice. People with FASD just need to try harder.

The Truth: The brain damage associated with FASD makes it difficult if not impossible for individuals to control their behaviour. It is not a choice.

Myth #4: FASD affects children and adolescents. It’s something they eventually outgrow.

The Truth: FASD is a permanent, life-long disability that often creates greater challenges in adulthood, when its behavioural consequences become less acceptable.

Myth #5: A father’s alcohol consumption prior to conception can cause FASD.

The Truth: The only known cause of FASD is a woman’s consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. However, expectant fathers can play a key role in prevention by supporting their partners in the decision not to drink alcohol during pregnancy.