The American Academy of Pediatrics will publish a clinical report, "The Role of Integrated Care in a Medical Home for Patients with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder," to guide clinicians on screening and managing the care of children with the diagnosis. The report will be published in the October 2018 issue of Pediatrics.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe preventable birth defects and intellectual or developmental disabilities resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure. The report emphasizes the lifelong effects of having an FASD and suggests strategies to support families through early intervention and with the help of other community resources. Studies of grade school children suggest that 24 to 48 per 1,000 children have a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and the numbers are believed to be higher in specific geographic areas in the United States.
The AAP advises that pediatricians adopt "universal screening," and incorporate screenings for prenatal alcohol exposure into their routine patient and family assessments.
While there is no cure for the impact on the brain and behavioral disorders caused by prenatal alcohol exposure, the AAP outlines evidence-based treatment options that can improve outcomes for children and families. Those treatment options may include but are not limited to: providing environmental modifications, parenting strategies and educational interventions.
Children who are diagnosed before age 6 and are raised in a stable home environment with appropriate, integrated support services have a better chance at overcoming life adversities.
Consistent, high quality, integrated care in a medical home is best for all children and youth, including those with an FASD.
Additional Information from HealthyChildren.org: