Why should an individual be assessed for FASD?
You may be wondering… why get a diagnosis? Why is this label necessary?
FASD is a medical issue and in fact, not a label.
A proper medical diagnosis can benefit individuals with FASD, parents, caregivers, professionals and society.
- A diagnosis will promote understanding of the person
- A diagnosis will provide the individual with the knowledge they need to function successfully within their abilities and understand their limits
- A diagnosis is necessary to put a plan in place to help the individual throughout their lifetime
- A diagnosis can provide access to appropriate services, support groups and specialized care
- A diagnosis is beneficial to caregivers, educators, health care professionals, the criminal justice system because it provides the information they need to create supportive and appropriate environments that are helpful and appropriate for the individual
- A diagnosis (particularly early diagnosis) can help prevent or reduce secondary disabilities such as mental health problems, trouble with the law, school problems, and alcohol and drug problems.
Diagnostic Assessment – What to expect
Diagnostic assessment includes a specialized team of professionals who work together in providing the proper medical diagnosis.
You will be guided and supported throughout this diagnostic process.
Appointments can take place over several days or weeks and often appointments are held at various locations. During this time, you will be meeting with your team members which may include:
- FASD Coordinator
- Speech and Language pathologist
- Occupational Therapist
- A health care provider (i.e. physician, nurse practitioner
FASD Coordinator’s Role
- Review all referrals received
- Call or meet with the individual, caregiver and community support workers to complete the intake process and to prepare them for the assessment
- Coordinate the scheduling of the appointments and support the caregivers as needed
- Keep the coordinator informed of any changes such as contact information, decision to proceed etc.
- Keep the referral source up to date on the assessment process
- Assess development, cognition, problem-solving, motor skills, executive function, memory, attention, social, adaptive skills and academic achievement
Speech and Language Pathologist’s role
- Assess expressive language, receptive language, articulation, social communication and fluency
- Assess sensory needs, self-care, productivity and leisure activities
- Assess movement, fine and gross motor skills
Health Care Provider’s role
- Review pre-natal exposure to alcohol and other substances
- Conduct a health history and physical assessment including measuring height, weight, head circumference and measurements of specific facial features
- Make recommendations regarding health issues
After the assessment
- The diagnostic outcomes will be shared with the individual and or caregiver within 3-4 weeks of the assessment
- A paper copy of the assessments and recommendations will be provided
- A diagnostic team member will be available to share the information with the individual’s circle of care (including school, employer) as requested