SIGN FASD guideline

Baby holding finger

Failure to recognise prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) as a possible cause of behavioural difficulties, such as ADHD, may contribute to adverse outcomes for the child. This summary covers the identification of children affected by prenatal alcohol exposure and includes a succinct and helpful diagnostic algorithm.

Failure to recognise prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) as a possible cause of behavioural difficulties and/or neurodevelopmental delay in children—particularly in children with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or hyperkinetic disorders—may contribute to adverse outcomes for the child, and it is potentially a missed opportunity to protect further offspring from PAE. In recognition of the challenges faced by clinicians in the assessment and diagnosis of children and young people affected by PAE, we have summarised recommendations from the SIGN clinical guideline on Children and young people exposed prenatally to alcohol  (SIGN 156) for use in your clinics. Included in this Guidelines  summary are the following topics: 

  • identification of children at risk of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder
  • criteria for diagnosis
  • physical examination
  • sentinel features
  • neurodevelopmental assessment 
  • management and follow up.

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