If you suspect a child is affected by FASD, it can be important to get a diagnosis. Then, you know what you’re dealing with. Some parents feel like they have been bad parents until they realized their child was affected by FASD. They thought it was their poor parenting skills. So knowing that it’s not their parenting skills can be a relief. And a diagnosis can help parents and caregivers learn to adapt to the disability. Here are some more reasons to get a diagnosis:

  • it gives families the ability to understand the issues they face
  • it can gives families access to special programs and funding
  • it helps service providers give effective support
  • it helps the child understand the daily issues they deal with and helps them feel better about themselves

But there are some drawbacks to getting a diagnosis, too. First of all, there aren’t a lot of diagnostic clinics. So it’s not as simple as just asking for a diagnosis and getting it. Parents might have to be very persistent. For more information about this topic, go to the Understanding section of this site, here. And for parents in our communities, it can mean expensive travel costs and other access issues. Also, birth mothers need to be prepared for the heartbreak of a diagnosis. Service providers need to be very careful and sympathetic when they talk to a birth mother about the possibility that her child has been affected by her drinking during pregnancy. Find out some ways to talk to birthmothers about FASD. For more information about this topic, go to the Strategies section of this site, here.