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Competency 2: Identification of FASD and Diagnosis of FAS

Common Disorders Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

"FASD" is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral, and learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications. The term FASD is not intended for use as a clinical diagnosis. It refers to conditions such as:

  • Fetal alcohol syndrome. FAS is the term coined in the United States in 1973 by Dr. Kenneth Jones and Dr. David Smith at the University of Washington to describe individuals with documented prenatal exposure to alcohol and (1) prenatal and postnatal growth retardation, (2) characteristic facial features, and (3) CNS problems.8
  • Alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND). ARND, a term coined by the Institute of Medicine in 1996, is used to describe individuals with confirmed maternal alcohol use, neurodevelopmental abnormalities, and a complex pattern of behavioral or cognitive abnormalities inconsistent with developmental level and not explained by genetic background or environment. Problems may include learning disabilities, school performance deficits, inadequate impulse control, social perceptual problems, language dysfunction, abstraction difficulties, mathematics deficiencies, and judgment, memory, and attention problems.

The FAS Diagnostic and Prevention Network's 4-Digit Diagnostic Code does not use ARND or ARBD. The guide identifies more than 20 diagnostic categories, with and without alcohol exposure. Examples include:

  • Fetal alcohol syndrome (alcohol exposed)
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome (alcohol exposure unknown)
  • Sentinel physical finding(s) (alcohol exposed)
  • Partial fetal alcohol syndrome (alcohol exposed)
  • Static encephalopathy (alcohol exposed)
  • Neurobehavioral disorder (alcohol exposed)
  • Static encephalopathy (alcohol exposure unknown)
  • Neurobehavioral disorder (alcohol exposure unknown)

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