Deciding if a child has FASD takes several steps. There is no one test to diagnose FASD, and many other disorders can have similar symptoms. In general, FASD is diagnosed by 4 criteria:
- Growth deficiency in height and/or weight either prenatally or postnatally.
- Specific pattern of facial anomalies: short eye slits, smooth or indistinct philtrum (the ridges running vertically between the nose and lips) and a thin upper lip.
- Some brain damage to the central nervous system demonstrated through microcephaly (small size of the brain), tremors, hyperactivity, fine or gross motor problems, attention deficits, learning disabilities, intellectual impairments and possible intellectual disability.
- Evidence of alcohol use by the birth mother during pregnancy (however, some diagnoses are made without this criteria).