An article from the Guardian exploring some of the difficulties in identifying FASD and how it may be a much bigger problem than we realised, particularly for children in care.
There are no official figures for the number of children in the UK care system with FASD. The condition can often be misdiagnosed because symptoms are similar to some of those traditionally seen in children with autism or ADHD. It is estimated that up to 3% of the UK population has the condition, although academics Penny Cook and Raja Mukherjee have argued that figure could be underestimated and warn the UK is in the grip of an FASD “hidden epidemic”. Research carried out in Peterborough in 2015 gives an indication of the prevalence of FASD among looked after children. The audit revealed a third of looked after children in Peterborough referred for a health assessment had the condition, and three-quarters of children undergoing adoption medical assessments had the potential of FASD as their birth mother had a history of alcohol.