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Competency 2: Identification of FASD and Diagnosis of FAS

FAS Diagnostic Criteria, Continued

Diagnostic References: Growth Deficiencies

To meet the growth retardation criteria of FAS, the primary parameters of growth that need to be impaired are height, weight, head circumference, or a combination thereof. The CDC guidelines specify confirmed prenatal or postnatal height or weight, or both, at or below the 10th percentile, documented at any one point in time. The measurements should be adjusted for age, sex, gestational age, and race or ethnicity. Again, family traits should be considered. Some families may tend to be smaller or larger than the norm. The clinician would look for growth below genetic expectations based on parental size.

Growth retardation and growth deficiencies occur in children, adolescents, and adults for many reasons, such as poor nutrition. This could be a particular problem for infants with poor sucking reflex who experience failure to thrive. In addition, several genetic disorders result in specific growth deficiencies (e.g., dwarfism). Prenatal growth retardation can be due to a variety of factors, including maternal smoking or other behaviors leading to hypoxia, poor maternal nutrition, or genetic disorders. Both environmental and genetic bases for growth retardation should be considered when diagnosing FAS.2

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