Why is a FASD Assessment and Diagnosis Important?

Studies have shown that a diagnosis of pre-natal alcohol damage as soon as possible is key to preventing problems in adulthood. It is important to understand that there are brain differences that must be supported, rather than problem behaviours that must be eliminated. This is true for all individuals exposed pre-natally to alcohol regardless of their age. Lack of understanding and inaccurate interpretation of problem behaviours lead to poor outcomes. Diagnosis is essential in preventing this. When behaviours are understood, the interventions are supportive and frustrations are reduced. Individuals affected by FASD can live happy, fulfilling lives when there is a clear understanding of their abilities and strengths.


How Much Does an Assessment Cost?

For children, assessment costs may be covered through a variety of different sources such as schools, Alberta Health Services and possibly Children Family Services Authority for children in care. For adults, the FASD Network may be willing to cover the costs if certain criteria are met. Other avenues such as Employment and Immigration Services may also be accessed. The Clinic Coordinator will help explore all options.

The network's priority is funding assessments for youth in transition to adulthood and adults as this is currently the biggest gap.


Who Can Request an Assessment?

Anyone can request an assessment on someone's behalf. Legal consent will need to be signed by the legal guardian in order to go forward with an assessment. 


How Does Someone Get an Assessment?

If you are interested in requesting an assessment for yourself or on someone's behalf, contact the Clinic Coordinator. All the options will be explored and necessary paperwork can begin. In order for the FASD Network to cover the costs, certain criteria must be met.


What is Involved in an Assessment?

Diagnostic services include medical, cognitive, behaviour, communication and adaptive functioning assessments. These assessments are conducted by a multi-disciplinary team which meets Canadian Clinical Guidelines for diagnosis.

Referrals require the history of prenatal alcohol exposure.