Realize more header.png

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

Jump to:

Understanding the condition


If a mother drinks alcohol whilst pregnant it will pass through her bloodstream via the placenta to the baby. Babies are not equipped to process alcohol in the way that adults are and as a result can damage cells in their brain, spinal cord and other parts of their body, and disrupt their development in the womb leading to physical, behavioural and learning difficulties. This can result in the loss of the pregnancy or long-term difficulties for the child.

Associated conditions


Children with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome may have:

  • Developmental difficulties

These include:

  • A head that's smaller than average

  • Poor growth – they may be smaller than average at birth, grow slowly as they get older, and be shorter than average as an adult

  • Very distinctive facial features – such as small eyes, a thin upper lip, and a smooth area between the nose and upper lip, these may become less noticeable with age

  •  Cerebral Palsy 

  •  Hearing  or  vision  problems

  • Problems with organ function


  • Learning difficulties

These include difficulties with social and communication skills, maths, memory, thinking and behavioural difficulties including  Autism-like behaviour  or  ADHD .

Challenges faced by students


Foetal Alcohol Syndrome is a life-long condition. There is no cure. Depending on the additional conditions a child experiences, external professional help, strategies and resources can be used to support the child in school and at home.