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Prominent FASD Diagnoses

Fetal Alcohol



FAS is a medical diagnosis in the ICD 10, the system physicians use to diagnose health conditions:

Criteria for diagnosing FAS

  1. Growth deficiency: prenatal and postnatal

  2. Facial characteristics: lack of groove between nose and mouth, a small opening between the sides of each eye, thin upper lip

  3. Evidence of Central Nervous system damage: structural, lower IQ, microcephaly (small head circumference), results of neuropsychological testing showing functional deficits

Fetal Alcohol 

Spectrum Disorders


The full spectrum of prenatal alcohol exposure can also be diagnosed in the DSM 5, the system used to make psychiatric diagnoses. Individuals with FAS and those who are affected but do not have the full syndrome can be diagnosed with the DSM 5 as a neurodevelopmental disorder, Other Specified Neurodevelopmental Disorder Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. Autism is in the same section of the DSM 5:


Criteria for diagnosing ND-PAE DSM 5: 318.5

  1. More than minimal exposure to alcohol during gestation

  2. Impaired neurocognitive functioning by more than one of the following: global intellectual functioning, executive functioning, learning, memory, and visual-spatial skills    

  3. Impaired self-regulation in one or more of the following: mood/behavior regulation, attention deficit, impulse control

  4. Impaired adaptive functioning by 2 or more of the following (must include one of the first 2 items): communication, social communication, daily living skills or motor skills in young children

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