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Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care. 2014 Apr;44(4):88-95. doi: 10.1016/j.cppeds.2013.12.008.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: guidance for recognition, diagnosis, differential diagnosis and referral.

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Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Program, Levine Children׳s Hospital, Charlotte, NC; Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics of the Carolinas-Charlotte, Carolinas Healthcare System, Charlotte, NC; Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, NC.
University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.


FASDs are the most common preventable cause of developmental and intellectual disabilities in the United States and yet can easily be overlooked in pediatric and adolescent practices. Early diagnosis, presence of developmental and educational services, and a nurturing home environment have been associated with decreased occurrence of secondary disabilities such as substance use and criminal involvement.23 Therefore, it is important for providers to know how to go about the identification, diagnostic, and evaluation process. Pediatric care clinicians should be knowledgeable about the diagnostic criteria for fetal alcohol syndrome and know common differentiating conditions. Furthermore, they should be able to recognize other disorders on the spectrum, and in doing so, they should facilitate appropriate referral, initial management, and coordination of care.

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