FASD Fife is for those who care for and work with children and young people living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or are suspected of having been exposed to alcohol pre-birth.


Judith Knox, FASD Co-ordinatorHello, my name is Judith. I am mum to my son who is 14 years old and who received a diagnosis of FASD 7 years ago. At that time, I felt very isolated, confused and had little knowledge about FASD. I thought I was alone, I didn’t know of any other family in Fife (or further afield) who had a child with FASD and I often became over-whelmed with caring for my son.

Fast forward 7 years … and now we have a local FASD support service in Fife, along with already established and developing services across Scotland.

I am so very excited to be working with FASD Fife, building on several years’ experience of supporting families who have children living with FASD. My message to you is ‘you are not alone’. I hope you find our webpage informative and if we can be of any assistance then please get in touch.

Get in Touch

We can be contacted on telephone number 07540377707 or by emailing fasd.fife@fassaction.org.uk

Catch us on social media Facebook and Twitter @fasdfife

What Is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder?


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a range of irreversible physical, psychological, neurological and developmental conditions that may affect a person when they have been exposed to alcohol prior to birth. This exposure to alcohol can affect how an individual’s brain and body can develop. FASD is a life-long condition and there is no cure.

Mattson, SN, Riley, EP. (1998). A Review of the Neurobehavioural Deficits in Children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Prenatal Exposure to Alcohol.


Did you know?


Signs and Symptoms of FASD

Physical signs and symptoms include:

  • Distinctive facial features (small eye openings, thin upper lip, smooth area between the mouth and nose called the philtrum, smaller than average head size).
  • Poor growth rate.
  • Heart defects.
  • Visual difficulties.
  • of people with FASD have NO change to their facial features.

    There are 10 areas of the brain that can potentially be affected by Pre-birth Alcohol Exposure (PAE), as detailed below:

    Challenges in these areas can look like:

    Executive Function

  • May have trouble with planning, sequencing, problem solving and organisation.
  • May be impulsive.
  • Have difficulty controlling emotions.
  • Are challenged by transitions and change.
  • Often repeats mistakes and has difficulty understanding consequences.
  • Difficulty with abstract ideas/concepts.
  • Difficulty managing time/money.
  • Sensory and Motor Skills

  • May be unable to make sense of what is going on around them.
  • May under or over react to sensory input, for example, light, noise, touch, smell and/or taste and movement.
  • Brain Structure and Functioning

  • Brain and head circumference may be small.
  • Impaired brain functioning and communication between brain areas.
  • Academic Skills

  • May have difficulty in school, particularly with maths, reading, and abstract concepts such as, time and money.
  • May have difficulty with comprehension, organisation and planning.
  • May have difficulty with age appropriate tasks.
  • Adaptive Behaviour, Social Skills and Social Communication

  • May not understand personal boundaries and have difficulty reading social cues.
  • May be socially vulnerable and easily taken advantage of.
  • May have difficulty seeing things from another’s point of view.
  • Socially and emotionally immature… may behave younger than actual age.
  • Attention and Focus

  • Can be easily distracted, over-stimulated or impulsive.
  • May have difficulty paying attention and be over active.
  • May appear to struggle to sit still.
  • Cognition

  • Difficulty with reasoning, planning, organising and solving problems.
  • Difficulty with understanding complex ideas.
  • Memory

  • Difficulty with long and short term memory – may seem forgetful.
  • Relatively better visual memory.
  • Difficulty with working memory.
  • Easily forget steps in normal daily routines.
  • Difficulty with accessing, selecting and organising information when needed.
  • Difficulty recalling sequences or complex instructions.
  • Appear to lie, but are really ‘filling in the blanks’ when unable to remember.
  • Language - Receptive and Expressive

  • May speak well, but not always understand the full meaning.
  • Delayed language milestones for age.
  • Difficulty with lengthy conversations.
  • Difficulty following instructions.
  • May be able to repeat instructions and rules, however may be not able to follow them through.
  • Affect Regulation

  • Difficulty controlling and regulating emotional reactions and behaviour.
  • Mood and anxiety disorders.
  • Poor awareness of how their emotions and actions affect others, often leading to participation in risky, inappropriate behaviours.
  • Self-esteem issues – feelings of shame, negativity and of being ‘bad’.
  • How we can Help

    With appropriate support, children and young people affected by FASD can go on to achieve positive life outcomes, as they mature into adults.

    Individuals with FASD have many qualities and strengths and are intelligent, kind, creative, artistic, musical or excel in sport or other areas. It is important to recognise, nurture and build upon these strengths to help increase confidence and self-esteem.

    Our Service is here for you, whether a parent, carer or professional (non-clinical). To help you navigate your journey in raising or supporting a child living with FASD or suspected of having been exposed to alcohol pre-birth.

    We provide:

  • Information, advice and resources.
  • Sign-posting to further support and information.
  • Caregiver Peer Support Network (initially this will run virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions, reverting to face-to-face meet-ups, when safe to do so).
  • Supporting caregivers to ensure their voice is heard and taken account of in planning and design of local services, which support and impact caregivers.
  • One-to-one direct work with caregivers to ensure their child(ren) are appropriately supported at home, in school and in the community.
  • Self-care and well-being activities, through Fife Curnie Clubs.
  • Training and awareness raising
  • FASD Awareness

    Have you wondered the relevance of the ‘red shoes’ on our leaflet and social media?

    Then wonder no more! September is International FASD month, with September 9th being ‘International FASD Day’. September 9th or 09/09 was chosen as a ‘nod’ towards the 9 months of pregnancy, hence the date that was chosen. FASD Fife embrace and participate in the ‘Red Shoes Rock’ global awareness raising initiative.


    The Red Shoes Rock movement started in 2013 by RJ Formanek, an educator and advocate living with FASD. RJ decided to wear red shoes to stand out, be noticed and have fun in starting conversation about FASD. The goal is to build awareness and momentum to celebrate International FASD Day (which has now grown into taking over the whole month of September).

    Watch this space for information about how you can help raise much needed awareness of FASD this September.

    Get in Touch

    We can be contacted on telephone number 07540377707 or by emailing fasd.fife@fassaction.org.uk

    Catch us on social media Facebook and Twitter @fasdfife