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Module 6: Diagnosis and Treatment of FASD

Introduction

Early intervention provides parents, caregivers, and others the opportunity to create an effective environment for learning and success. However, diagnosing and treating FASD can be difficult. Barriers to diagnosis include:

Diagnosing and treating FASD can be difficult
  • Lack of a physical test
  • Few practitioners qualified to diagnose
  • Problems getting birth mother's history of alcohol use
  • No behavioral phenotype
  • Reluctance to inform parents of a stigmatizing disability or to label a child
  • Reluctance to diagnose if no services are available
  • Facial features are harder to recognize in adolescents and adults

Because of the nature of the disorders and frequently co-occurring disorders, treating FASD is complicated. Large-scale studies of interventions have not been conducted. Much of what is known is based on "wisdom of practice" gained through trial and error by parents, educators, and others working with individuals prenatally exposed to alcohol. However, as with most disabling conditions, early intervention is important and often results in improved outcomes.

Multimedia Video: Discusses the benefits of early intervention.

Multimedia Video: Describes how early intervention and support programs affect the child's development.

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