To assess an individual with prenatal alcohol exposure and/or suspected FASD, the following essential criteria must be considered:
Alternative diagnoses that might explain neurodevelopmental impairment must be excluded, including genetic diagnoses, exposure to other teratogens and both physical and psychosocial postnatal exposures such as early life trauma. FASD may, however, coexist with other conditions.
Ideally, the diagnostic assessment for FASD is conducted by a multidisciplinary team to enable accurate assessment of the range of outcomes that may be associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. Health professionals participating in a diagnostic assessment for a young person may include:
- Speech pathologist
- Occupational therapist
For an adult, the health professionals involved in the diagnostic process are most likely to include one or two of the following:
- Psychiatrist or physician
- Neuro or clinical psychologist
- Mental health worker
Accompanying the Australian Guide to the diagnosis of FASD are e-learning modules designed to assist clinicians with:
- an introduction to FASD, including characteristics and manifestations
- an understanding of the risks and effects of alcohol use in pregnancy and how to assess alcohol use in pregnancy
- information needed to conduct a diagnostic assessment using the diagnostic criteria
- general principles for discussing diagnosis, developing a management plan and supporting families and individuals after a FASD diagnosis
- an understanding of referral and screening criteria for FASD
To register for the e-learning modules.