Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) is the umbrella term for a range of conditions caused by alcohol consumption during pregnancy which affect a child’s health and development. FASD includes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and other related conditions.

Exposure to alcohol before a child is born can affect the child in a number of ways:

  • Difficulty with learning
  • Behavioral challenges
  • Changes in physical features
  • Poor growth
  • Mental health issues

These effects have consequences for a child’s lifetime.  The sooner you know your child has FASD, the sooner you can use available services that are crucial for helping children and families succeed and live happy lives.

The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Clinic at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital specializes in the diagnosis of children who have behavioral and cognitive problems related to prenatal alcohol exposure. We offer a comprehensive evaluation with an expert team of doctors from Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, Rehabilitation Psychology and Neuropsychology, and the Division of Pediatric Genetics.

What to expect

Your child will meet with three providers, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician trained in FASD assessment, a geneticist, and a neuropsychologist. At the appointment, the doctor will review your child's history and do a physical examination with an emphasis on the phenotypic characteristics that can result from prenatal alcohol exposure. In addition, your child will receive a neuropsychological evaluation to evaluate the neurocognitive and behavioral profile of children with suspected FASD. Your child will also have a coordinated assessment with Pediatric Genetics to evaluate potential genetic factors that may contribute to the child’s developmental and behavioral presentation. Diagnosis, recommendations for continued care and referral assistance to other specialties and services will be provided at the conclusion of the appointment or during a follow-up appointment. Information from these exams, along with any potential diagnosis, will be included in the session report.

Take the next step

Any child suspected of prenatal alcohol exposure may request an evaluation with the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders clinic.

New patients wishing to be seen in our clinic need to complete the FASD Clinic Parent Questionnaire, the Request for Outside Records form and the FAS Pre-Appointment Checklist. We also require an Outpatient Consult Request from the child’s primary care provider or referring doctor. Once we have received these forms, we will add the patient to our waitlist for an appointment and request any additional records that may be beneficial in providing an accurate diagnosis.  Please understand that we are a small sub-specialty clinic and our wait time for an appointment is usually approximately 6 months.

Referral information should be mailed to our administration office:

University of Michigan Hospital
1500 East Medical Center Drive
D2204 MPB - Box 5718
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5718
Attn: FASD Clinic
Fax: (734) 936-6897

Schedule an appointment 

To receive a copy of the required forms, schedule an appointment, or for additional information about the clinic, please call 734-936-9777 or email FAS-Clinic@med.umich.edu).