About FASD

Extol! Charitable Foundation is dedicated to the abolishment of preventable social ills, such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and the establishment of an environment where our future generations shall thrive.

What are Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders?

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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a set of physical and mental birth defects that can result when a woman drinks alcohol during her pregnancy. When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, such as beer, wine or mixed drinks, so does her baby. Alcohol passes through the placenta into the developing baby. The baby may suffer lifelong damage as a result.

FAS is characterized by brain damage, facial deformities and growth deficits. Heart, liver and kidney defects also are common, as well as vision and hearing problems. Individuals have difficulties with learning, attention, memory and problem-solving.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is an umbrella term describing the range that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These may include physical, mental, behavioral and/or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications. The term FASD is not intended for us as a clinical diagnosis.


  • There is no safe amount or type of alcohol during pregnancy. Any amount of alcohol, even if it's just one glass of wine, passes from mother to the baby. It makes no difference if the alcohol is a liquor or distilled spirit such as vodka or beer or wine.
  • A developing baby can't process alcohol. Developing babies lack the ability to proccess or metabolize alcohol through the liver or other organs. They absorb all of the alcohol and have the same blood alcohol concentration as the mother.
  • Alcohol causes more harm than heroin or cocaine during pregnancy. The Institute of Medicine says, "Of all the substances of abuse (including cocaine, heroin and marijuana), alcohol produces by far the most serious neurobehavioral effects in the fetus."
  • Alcohol use during pregnancy is the leading preventable cause of birth defects, developmental disabilities and learning disabilities.
  • Children do not outgrow FASD. The physical and behavior problems can last for a lifetime.
  • 1 in 100 babies have FASD, nearly the same rate as Autism. FASD is more prevalent than Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, SIDS, Cystic Fibrosis and Spinba Bifida combined.

Preceding information obtained through:
National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
U.S. Surgeon General’s Office
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Institute of Medicine
New Mexico Department of Health