It is difficult to diagnose FASD because no single test could cover the broad range of FASD signs and symptoms. Certain physical issues,
developmental or behavioral concerns, or school failure should alert the parents, medical provider or other pediatric developmental specialist to
consider a potential FASD diagnosis.
Individuals with FASD can have brain abnormalities that lead to problems in day-to-day functioning despite having a normal IQ, so a comprehensive evaluation is needed.
Because early identication, intervention and treatment are so important in mitigating the effects of FASD, it’s recommended that children—especially those whose prenatal and birth
situations may be under-documented (international adoptees and kids in the foster care system)—be evaluated for possible FASD.
Infants: low birth weight, irritability, sensitivity to light, noises and touch, poor sucking, slow development, poor sleep-wake cycles, and increased ear infections.
- Toddlers: poor memory capability, hyperactivity, lack of fear, no sense of boundaries, and a need for excessive physical contact.
- Grade-school years: short attention span, poor coordination, and difficulty with both fine and gross motor skills.
- Older children: trouble keeping up with school, low self-esteem from recognizing that they are different from their peers.
- Teenagers: poor impulse control, cannot distinguish between public and private behaviors, must be reminded of concepts on a daily basis.
- Adults: more likely to struggle with basic needs, such as affordable housing, transportation, employment, and money handling.
Funding for this project has been provided by the Department for Health and Social Services, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health-State of Delaware through a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).