This is an informal non-medical assessment based on the experience of parents and carers of children with FASD and the research into the condition conducted by rffada members since 2000. Email [email protected] for a copy



What to take to the Doctors for a diagnosis


FASD is sometimes confused with developmental delays and behaviour disorders. Only a specially trained doctor can tell for sure and give a complete diagnosis.  Unfortunately in Australia, very few doctors have been trained to diagnose the disabilities that fall under the fetal alcohol spectrum.


Without diagnosis appropriate interventions, strategies and accommodations can still be put into place for affected people.  The earlier this can be done the sooner it may result in fewer secondary disabilities such as mental health problems, trouble with the law, dropping out of school (or being disruptive in a classroom), experiencing unemployment and homelessness or developing alcohol and drug problems.  Without support, people with FASD can also have problems keeping a job and parenting both of which can create problems for the next generation.  People with FASD also have a high suicide rate. When you combine impulsivity with the lack of understanding of cause and effect suicides can be completed for issues that can be easily addressed by you and me but to a person with FASD will seem unsurmountable and unbearable.


People with FASD may be very good at many things. They may be loving, affectionate, friendly, artistic and musical, work well with animals and plants, be very loyal and show a great determination to succeed in life!


Once you have identified that your child may have FASD, what needs to happen next? 


In an ideal world you would go to your GP and he or she would either diagnose FAS (for people with the facial anomalies) or refer you to a diagnostic clinic where you and your child would receive an expert diagnosis and a management plan.  However at the moment in Australia it will be difficult for you to find a GP who understands the condition and can refer you appropriately.  However you may be lucky to find a doctor who is willing to discuss this condition with you and who also is prepared to learn more about FASD.


What do you need to take with you to your doctor’s appointment?  Take the completed identification tool (see Identification Tool on this website) along with the answers to the questions below.  Being ready to answer these questions may reserve time from the consultation to go over points on which you may want to spend more time. Your doctor might ask the following questions:


Below, Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you took during pregnancy

List here:





When did you first notice your child’s symptoms?



Have these symptoms been continuous or only occasional?




Does anything seem to improve the symptoms?




What, if anything seems to worsen the symptoms?



Did you use any substances during your pregnancy?




Did you have any problems during your pregnancy or during the birth?





Then collect all the information you have on your child:




Birth Weight

Immunisation history

Medical History

Behavioural History

Completed FASD Characteristics Checklist for all age levels

The results of any other assessments eg

    Neuro-psych  Assessment

    Sensory Integration Disorder Assessment

    Central Auditory Assessment

    Occupational Therapist Assessment

    Educational Assessment

    Psychiatric/Psychological Assessment




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