FASD probably impacts on more children than is recognised. Dr Kate Ward at Airedale Hospital is a world renowned expert. But getting the condition diagnosed is hard work.
FASD is also having an impact on children who are undiagnosed and who are subject to special guardianship orders or being looked after by kinship carers. Martin Clarke, learning and development manager at the Adolescent and Children’s Trust charity and adoption and fostering agency, says: “That’s my biggest worry because these families are not offered the same level of support as adoptive and foster carers. Traditionally they are older people, maybe grandparents who say ‘I don’t want my grandchild going into care.’ But they won’t be prepared for the behavioural and emotional problems which occur because nobody has prepared them for it and they will be unable to cope with the placement longer term.”