What is FASD?
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a diagnostic term used to describe impacts on the brain and body of individuals prenatally exposed to alcohol. FASD is a lifelong disability. Individuals with FASD will experience some degree of challenge in their daily living and need support with motor skills, physical health, learning, memory, attention, communication, emotional regulation, and social skills to reach their full potential. Each individual with FASD is unique and has areas of both strengths and challenges.
Who is eligible for an FASD assessment?
The Central Alberta FASD Clinic is for individuals ages 7 years and older who are experiencing difficulties that are suspected to be a result of prenatal exposure to alcohol.
Confirmation of prenatal alcohol exposure is required prior to assessment and the clinic can assist with gathering the details of this information.
Confirmation of prenatal alcohol exposure may come from one of the following sources: birth mother (if alive and able to be contacted), reliable/verifiable witnesses, and/or from agency or medical file documentation.
We offer a requisite number of fully funded assessments, based on eligibility requirements. If there are alternative sources of funding available such as Children’s Services, we request they cover the cost of assessment.
If an individual does not qualify for alternative funding sources and is eligible for assessment, the Clinic may cover the cost of assessment.
For those interested in a fee-for-service assessment process, we provide a quote for an assessment, and an invoice after eligibility is determined.
Designated Representative – Support
To ensure that individuals are supported in completing the assessment process, they are required to have a designated representative, to assist them through the assessment process. This designated representative will be the clinic’s main contact, and the individual’s main support.
The role of designated representative includes, but is not limited to, the following:
• Assisting with referral for assessment
• Main contact as the individual completes assessment
• Confirming attendance to appointments
• Arranging the client’s transportation
• Attending appointments if necessary
• Assisting with questionnaires
• Support with recommendations
• Contact for follow up
If an individual does not have any support people, please contact the Central Alberta FASD Network for supports and services.
A referral is needed to access the clinic. Anyone may refer to clinic; however, signed consent from the individual and/or legal guardian(s) is required at time of referral.
* Referrals received with complete information will be processed more rapidly; however, not all referrals will proceed for a full assessment or diagnosis. *
Please send any relevant records you may have, and the Clinic will request additional records and information.
When a referral has been received, additional forms and consents may be required. Proper consent is required for the clinic to request records including birth, health, and educational records, as well as other relevant documentation such as adoption, mental health, and social service records. It may take up to three months, or longer, for these records to be obtained.
The referral, along with any accompanying documentation, is reviewed by the Clinic to determine if the individual meets the Canadian diagnostic criteria for FASD.
If the individual is eligible for assessment, they will be added to the waitlist to schedule appointments.
The Clinic will contact the designated representative and/or the individual to review the outcome of the referral.
Once all relevant records are obtained, clinician appointments will be scheduled.
The Central Alberta FASD Clinic complies with The Canadian Guideline for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: a guideline for diagnosis across the lifespan, 2015).
FASD is diagnosed by considering evidence from several criteria, including potential impact on the brain, in individuals exposed to alcohol during gestation. Not all individuals exposed to alcohol during gestation have FASD.
Assessments will include medical and psychological assessments. Depending on age and circumstances appointments may also include speech-language pathology and occupational therapy assessments.
Case Conference and Medical Diagnosis
Following the separate clinician assessments, the clinic team meets as part of the case conference.
The diagnosis will be shared by the medical doctor with the designated representative, individual and/or guardians (if applicable).
After this meeting, the diagnostic report will be compiled within approximately 4-8 weeks. Once the report is ready, the Report and Recommendations meeting will be scheduled.
Report and Recommendations Meeting
This meeting is scheduled after the case conference, once the diagnostic report is complete, to review the report in more detail and ensure those supporting the individual understand the results, recommendations, and the plan moving forward.
FASD Clinic referral form: Central Alberta FASD Clinic Referral Form. Jan 2022
FASD Clinic Info Sheet: Central Alberta FASD Clinic Info Sheet. Dec 2021