The diagnosis of FAS follows a specific outline. Individuals with FAS are generally found to have:
1) Growth problems (e.g. unusually low birth weight and size, before and after birth)
2) Facial dysmorphia (e.g. small head, small eyes, underdevelopment of the upper lip, indistinct groove between lip and nose, flattened cheekbones)
3) CNS abnormality (e.g. delayed brain development, intellectual impairment)
It is important to note that these criteria are for FAS and not Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). FASD is an umbrella term that refers to the range of effects, including FAS, that can result from prenatal alcohol exposure. FASD is not a diagnostic term.
Sources: CDC’s Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Guidelines for Referral and Diagnosis (2004)
“Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: From Research to Policy” Alcohol Research and Health (2010)
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