FASD Assessment Services
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, or FASD, is an umbrella term referring to the range of possible effects an individual whose mother drank during pregnancy may experience. The symptoms of FASD vary both in nature and in severity and can affect an individual physically, cognitively, and behaviorally.
FASD Assessment Team
All team members are trained and certified in the University of Washington's FASD 4-Digit Code Diagnostic Services Provider by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services since January 2015.
Our team includes Licensed Nurse Practitioners, a Clinical Psychologist, two Occupational Therapists, a Speech and Language Pathologist, a Parent Navigator and a Program Coordinator.
Parent Navigator and Coordinator
Our Parent Navigator works with the client's family from the beginning of our diagnostic process to the end. The Parent Navigator's duty is to provide guidance and support to the family, as well as to advocate for the family's unique situation and needs to the rest of the team. The Parent Navigator also conducts a caregiver interview with the parents/caregivers of the individual being diagnosed.
Our Coordinator ensures the team runs efficiently and is responsible for managing referrals, client records, scheduling, team meetings, and other team logistics. The Coordinator is also responsible for team outreach and serves as the point of contact for the diagnostic team.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is FASD
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, or FASD, is an umbrella term referring to the range of possible effects an individual whose mother drank during pregnancy may experience. The Symptoms of FASD vary both in nature and in severity and can affect an individual physically, cognitively, and behaviorally. Some possible symptoms are:
Abnormal facial features, such as a smooth ridge between the nose and upper lip
Small head size
Low body weight
Difficulty with attention
Difficulty in school (especially with math)
Speech and language delays
Intellectual disability or low IQ
Poor reasoning and judgment skills
Sleep and sucking problems as a baby
Vision or hearing problems
Problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones
How does alcohol affect the fetus?
When a pregnant mother consumes alcohol, it gets dispersed throughout her blood and the blood of the fetus. When a developing fetus is exposed to alcohol, important developmental processes can be disrupted. The exact effects of this exposure depend on the amount of alcohol consumed, frequency of alcohol consumption, and the exact stage(s) of pregnancy during which alcohol consumption occurs.
Is it ever safe to drink while pregnant?
No. No amount of alcohol consumed during pregnancy is known to be safe for the fetus.
Is FASD curable?
There is no "cure" for FASD. Many symptoms may last a life time. However, early diagnosis and appropriate intervention can improve a child's development.
How common is FASD
FASD is thought to be the most common developmental disease in the Western World. Lack of diagnosis and statistics for FASD prevalence make it difficult to determine exactly how common it is, but some estimates put it at 1 in 100 people in the United States.
Why is FASD so Commmon?
A variety of complicated circumstances may lead a mother to drink during pregnancy. These circumstances could include but are certainly not limited to:
Mothers not knowing they are pregnant during early stages of pregnancy
Lack of public awareness about the potential dangers of drinking during pregnancy
Unplanned pregnancy, lack of FASD awareness, and high rates of alcoholism are likely major contributors to the prevalence of FASD. FASD DOES NOT imply a mother had an intentional will to harm her unborn child.
Meet Our Team
Licensed Nurse Practicioner