Follow us

The following Letter to the Editor was submitted by Indiana NOFAS’ director Susan Ellsworth. It ran in the Anderson Herald Bulletin on Jan 19th and in the Indy Star on Jan 21st.

While the country is buzzing about the opioid crisis, there is another often missed epidemic: fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Prenatal alcohol exposure is the leading known cause of intellectual disability in the United States, and its symptoms can be as subtle as ADHD or as pronounced as organ failure.

FASD is an umbrella term representing multiple disorders. The most severe and less common is fetal alcohol syndrome. Many children affected are misdiagnosed with disorders like autism or oppositional defiant disorder, when in fact they are suffering from an FASD. It follows that the symptoms of an FASD often include impulsive behavior and difficulties in communication. With as many as 1 in 20 school children potentially suffering from effects related to prenatal alcohol exposure, this really is a hidden crisis — not unlike the opioid epidemic was 10 years ago.

The opioid crisis must be addressed and those affected offered services. While forging the fight against opioid addiction, we can’t forget to provide our communities, teachers, pediatricians, doctors, and even judges FASD education, and individuals affected appropriate services. The people affected by it must deal with the effects their entire lives.

Susan Elsworth, Alexandria


Related News

The FASD Respect Act Passes Senate HELP Committee in The Support Reauthorization Act

The FASD Respect Act (S.1800) introduced by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and
Read More

Giving Tuesday – Be the Change

Indiana Alliance on Prenatal Substance Exposure is participating in Giving Tuesday today,
Read More

Indiana Governor Holcomb Declares September 9th FASD Awareness Day!

Governor Eric Holcomb recently signed a proclamation declaring the 9th day of
Read More

Reach out

We’d love to hear from you!

Please use this form to share your stories, ask questions, and build connections.

"*" indicates required fields