Pregnancy Home > Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Making a Diagnosis

An expert trained to assess birth defects and fetal alcohol syndrome can make a fetal alcohol syndrome diagnosis. Tests used in diagnosing fetal alcohol syndrome usually include:
  • Complete physical exam (height, weight, vision, hearing, cardiogram, etc.)
  • Evaluation of the face
  • IQ test (for example, WISC or WAIS).
Early diagnosis and intervention can contribute to positive long-term outcomes. Accurate diagnosis of a fetal alcohol syndrome can:
  • Help the person receive appropriate services
  • Aid communication among clinicians, caregivers, educators, and families
  • Provide better self-awareness and understanding by family members.


(Click Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Diagnosis for more information.)


Treatment for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal alcohol syndrome is a permanent condition. It affects every aspect of an individual's life and the lives of his or her family. However, while the condition cannot be cured, treatment of fetal alcohol syndrome is available. For example, some people can be helped with hearing aids or eyeglasses, if necessary. When they go to school, they may need special help. As children with fetal alcohol syndrome get older, they may need special services and support to help them live on their own (see Living With Fetal Alcohol Syndrome).
Fetal alcohol syndrome research scientists have also identified several factors that may help improve the outcome of someone with the condition. Some of these other factors include:
  • Early diagnosis
  • Involvement in special education and social services
  • A loving, nurturing, and stable caretaking environment
  • Absence of violence.
(Click Treatment of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome for more information.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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