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FASD explained simply: an interview with David Boulding


"FASD is devastating. What disability results in sufferers being good at small talk but without substance? Then add a kind heart but a violent temper, complex needs but no insight, a small frame with big expectations and perhaps worst of all, a damaged mind but a beautiful face."

- Elizabeth Russell

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Here are some papers that give readers a first look at what Fetal Alcohol is all about... and where to begin.

First of all, what do all the different terms mean? Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term, describing a continuum of permanent birth defects caused by maternal consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. These defects may include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities.

It is a "spectrum" because some people are severely affected, while others only mildly. Some show more of the reasoning and behavioral problems and less of the physical features. Many will have learning disabilities, and IQs ranging from above average to below average. Each person will have his or her special needs, problems and potential.

FASD is not a clinical diagnosis. Under its umbrella, you have fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and fetal alcohol effects (FAE) - the only two diagnoses given by doctors.

To give you an idea of the prevalence of FASD in our society, it is estimated that one in every 750 babies born each year has FAS. The rates for children born with FAE may be many times higher.

Additional papers can be found by clicking on the navigation link to your left, "Papers".


The Lawyer's Brief says almost everything I need to say. The paper entitled "Mistakes" (links at right) is my account of my awakening to fetal is a now generic list of the mistakes every professional makes.


For Judges, Lawyers, Police, Corrections, and Probation

FASD accounts for our most difficult and most frequent users of the legal system. Persons with fetal alcohol do poorly in our system, and I offer here some specifics that work.


For Teachers, Social Workers, and Psychologists

Here are some papers for those unacknowledged first responders to fetal alcohol. Teachers and social workers can have the biggest impact - if they recognize what they have is non-comprehension, not non-compliance.


For Families

Families have the heart-breaking reality of never being able to walk away from this brain-based birth defect. It is a life-time task and here is some trenchant advice on what to do and how to prepare for court.


If you have any questions after reading some of these materials, please do not hesitate to contact David at


There is a difference between legal information and personal legal advice.
The materials on this website offer legal information only. For personal legal advice take these materials to your lawyer and discuss your facts with your lawyer. Only your lawyer can give you legal advice based on your facts and the law where you live. I cannot give legal advice . . . only information.


Thank you: Amar Allen, John Hill, Dania Sheldon, Diane Malbin, Kay Kelly, Judge Carlie Trueman, Amber Kesterton, Janet Jackson, Bill Ellice, Dr. Mary Rogers, Audrey Salahub, Dr. Julianne Conry, Dr. K. Asante, Judge Cunnliffe Barnet, Deb Evensen, Dr Ed Riley, Fred Bookstein, Dr. Caron Byrne, Dr. A. Russell, Valbourg Kvigne, John Gregg, and Dr. Kathy Sulik.


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