Clinic opens in Jersey to help children with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

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A new clinic is running in Jersey's hospital to help children who have been exposed to alcohol before birth. Credit: ITV Channel

A new clinic has opened in Jersey to help islanders who are impacted by Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

FASD is a neurodevelopmental condition which is caused when a person is exposed to alcohol before birth.

It can affect a person's physical, behavioural and neurological development.

A child who has FASD may have a thin upper lip, flat and smooth skin between the base of the nose and the top of the upper lip and narrower eye openings, because of the condition.

The clinics will focus on children who have been identified as having symptoms of FASD, and will look ahead to referring those individuals for a neurodevelopmental assessment so they can be screened for FASD as part of a single referral pathway. 

Dr Catherine Howden, community consultant paediatrician, based at CAMHS, said: “I am pleased that we now have a diagnostic pathway for FASD.

"Because FASD shares many symptoms with other neurodevelopmental conditions – including ADHD and autism – it requires assessment of 10 different neurodevelopmental domains, and a co-ordinated approach from multiple health professionals.

“Providing an accurate diagnosis is the first step to providing the correct support for children and young people with FASD. This includes giving families the knowledge they need to effectively support their children."

The latest advice and information materials produced by Public Health advise against any alcohol consumption during pregnancy, and encourage islanders to speak to their midwife or GP.

You can find more information on FASD here.

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