Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (TEAF) or how alcohol affects the fetus

What is the TEAF?

The TEAF is the acronym for «Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder». The TEAF is a disorder that can occur when an individual has been exposed to alcohol during their prenatal development. It is a disorder that is expressed in a very variable range of characteristics that can be grouped into three types: physical abnormalities, cognitive abnormalities and behavioral abnormalities that cover a high spectrum. The TEAF has validated clinical criteria and four diagnostic categories: Alcoholic syndrome Complete fetal (SAF), partial fetal alcohol syndrome (SAFp), alcohol-related birth defects (DNRA) and neurodevelopmental disorder related to alcohol (TNRA). In English FASD with the four diagnostic categories: FAS, pFAS, ARBD and ARND. SAF is the most serious form and its clinical manifestations are: growth retardation, facial dysmorphism and malformations of the central nervous system. Facial dysmorphism, characteristic of SAF and of the SAFp is visible and measurable: small palpebral fissures, flat philtrum and fine upper lip.

What are the warning signs?

Confirmation or suspicion that the pregnant mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy, growth retardation, facial dysmorphism and involvement of the central nervous system. Prenatal exposure to alcohol can damage the structure of any part of the brain. A TEAF has a serious deterioration in at least 3 of the 10 domains of neurological development:

They can also have damage to the extremities and internal organs such as the liver, heart and bones.


There is no study that guarantees a safe amount of alcohol, however minimal, that can be consumed during pregnancy. There is no time in pregnancy where you can drink without taking risks. Alcohol can cause problems for the pregnant baby at all stages of pregnancy, even before the woman knows she is pregnant. All types of alcohol are equally harmful, including all wines and beers. Therefore, if there is no safe amount of alcohol consumption that prevents the development of the TEAF, the most sensible thing is not to consume any amount of alcohol during pregnancy and during breastfeeding, only this way we will have total assurance that the fetus is not going to develop TEAF. If the TEAF is totally preventable if no alcohol is consumed during pregnancy, then why take a chance?

Diagnosis and treatment

The TEAF has no cure, lasts a lifetime, but early diagnosis and early invervention greatly improve the development and prognosis.

Questions and answers about the TEAF

Video ¿sabías qué? sobre el TEAF, cortesia de Mas Consulting

Video did you know what? about The TEAF, courtesy of Mas Consulting

Visual TEAF

Visual TEAF is a non-profit association that has designed a project platform with the aim of improving the quality of life of children and adolescents and young people with cognitive diversity and their families, especially those affected by Down syndrome. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum (TEAF). The most outstanding project of Visual TEAF is the development of an app to diagnose the TEAF:

Diagnostic App TEAF

This application, for use with a mobile phone, helps health professionals to perform the evaluation of diagnostic criteria in children and young people with suspected TEAF, including physical facial measurements and using artificial intelligence and big data for interpretation. Currently, the App is developed and the clinical evaluation will begin shortly… Read more…


The TEAF Diagnostic App has won the first prize for the best digital initiative for health literacy 2018 of the Andalusian School of Public Health (EASP). During the presentation of the project in Granada, the Association of Adoptive, Friendly and Collaborative Families recorded a very interesting and didactic presentation of the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder by Dr. Óscar Garcia-Algar, Head of the Neonatology Service of the Hospital Clínic-Maternitat, ICGON, IDIBAPS, BCNatal de Barcelona and the presentation of the operation of the TEAF Diagnostic App by Jacinto Castillo, secretary of Visual TEAF.


The diagnostic App has been presented at the international congress of in September 2018 in Berlin. It was presented at the plenary session of September 25, with great reception from the attendees. Next is the record in the agenda of the presentation.

Colaboración con otras entidades

An important mobilization has been achieved between different associations and entities to work together. In May 2018 it was proposed the creation of a platform with the common objective of giving visibility to the TEAF and the Disorders derived from Early Adversity, sensitize society and draw the attention of the different administrations and professionals of all fields to be aware of the problem and achieve a decent future for those affected and their families. The entities that are currently part of the platform are, in alphabetical order:

            Afasaf, Association of Families Affected by Fetal Alcoholism. Afasaf

      Afatrac, Association of Families Affected by Behavioral Disorders Afatrac

Albores.  Intervention to minors and adolescents. Offers psychological attention, support and guidance to victims of disadvantaged or traumatic social situations. Fundación Albores

Asofacam is the Association of Cozy Families of Castilla la Mancha. It was created in 2011 to respond to the needs that welcoming families encounter throughout the foster care process. It has the experience and enthusiasm of all the welcoming families belonging to the association. Asofacam

      Caarfe: Confederation of alcoholics, addicts in rehabilitation and relatives of Spain. Caarfe

 CORA. Coordinator of adoption and foster care associations. Cora

Inclusive. Our mission is to defend the dignity of people in situations of dependency and support their families, in order to improve their living conditions. Inclusive

Petales España.  Association of help and support for parents and people who have disorders of attachment or attachment. Petales

Saf Group. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Group. It is an association of parents of children diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (TEAF) Safgroup

Socidrogalcohol. Spanish scientific society of studies on alcohol, alcoholism and other drug addictions.                                          Socidroalcohol

Tolerancia Cero Tolerancia Cero. Against early adversity.  Tolerancia cero

Logotipo rectangularVisual TEAF. Non-profit platform that carries out solidarity projects for boys and girls with cognitive diversity, with special attention to the TEAF. Visual TEAF

This platform has agreed on a Communiqué and a common Manifesto:

Joint statement of the platform

Manifest of the platform

The entities that have been integrated after the date of the manifesto and communication adhere to them. To be informed of all the news and actions you can subscribe to our newsletter. You can also contact through the mail

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