Making a diagnosis of FASD requires a multidisciplinary team and involves a complex physical and neurodevelopmental assessment. The 2016 Canadian Diagnostic Guidelines for FASD provide the basis for a FASD diagnosis (Cook et al., 2016).

Benefits of a diagnosis:

  • Identifies strengths and weaknesses – will help a person with FASD get help in difficult areas and excel in areas that are strengths
  • Provide support for additional services and/or government benefits
  • May provide answers for older children and adults about why life has been difficult for them
  • With more appropriate supports it may reduce the occurrence of additional challenges
  • Help parents to understand the best ways to help their child succeed
  • Provide important information about supports for youth transitioning to adulthood, such as guardianship, trusteeship and legal representation agreements (CanFASD, 2013)