FASD The Course > Module 6: Diagnosis and Treatment of FASD > 6. Diagnostic Procedures for FAS
Module 6: Diagnosis and Treatment of FASD
Diagnostic Procedures for FAS
The Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Diagnostic and Prevention Network at the University of Washington has developed a
4-digit diagnostic code 2
(pictured at right) that reflects the extent of growth deficiency, the FAS facial phenotype, central nervous
system damage/dysfunction, and gestational alcohol exposure. Each is rated on a 4-point scale. The ratings for
each category are combined into a 4-digit score, such as 1331.
In addition, in July 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Guidelines for Referral and Diagnosis1.
This document provides a framework for FAS diagnosis and services that reflects CDC's recommendation that
developmental screening be implemented to improve children's health and help them reach their full potential.
Efforts at obtaining an accurate diagnosis are important. An appropriate diagnosis helps in determining and
obtaining needed services. It also helps provide a context for the symptoms. For example, behaviors can be
understood in light of prenatal alcohol exposure, rather than as "bad" or "wrong."
Video: Ann Streissguth, PhD, and Julie Gelo, a parent, discuss the importance of getting an early diagnosis.