Screening for FASD is the first step in understanding the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure. The earlier a child gets evaluated & identified as having an FASD, the sooner the family can work together with the child’s teacher and other care providers to support the child’s health and development.
2. Facial Features
3. Brain Development and functioning
4. Exposure to alcohol in utero
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends that a person with prenatal alcohol exposure be assessed by an interdisciplinary team of professionals.
The evaluation may include:
- Evaluation of the medical history, including prenatal, birth and early childhood history
- General physical examination
- Evaluation of growth patterns throughout life
- Measurement of facial features
- Psychometric evaluation determine learning strengths and weaknesses
- Occupational therapy evaluation to determine motor functions and sensory processing skills
- Speech and language evaluation to determine abilities to understand and communicate
More information on the CDC’s guidelines for referral and diagnosis may be found here.
North Carolina has one interdisciplinary FASD clinic located at Mission Hospital in Asheville. There are a number of other locations across the state of North Carolina that a child with prenatal alcohol exposure may be referred.
A complete listing of diagnostic centers may be found here.