FASD Fact #31: Facial features are the most recognized symptom of FASDs, but they occur in a minority of people who have an FASD.

Text: One barrier to diagnosis, supports, and services to people with FASDs
is a diagnostic process that relies on identification of specific facial features.

Approximately 1% of people who have an FASD are diagnosed. We know that diagnosis is a key to preventing poor outcomes (see fasdfact #6).


Of those, a small percentage have specific facial features associated with a diagnosis of FULL FAS*.

Facial features are one of the 4 criteria for diagnosis for most clinics and diagnostic facilities in the US. Most doctors and other specialists ONLY know this symptom of FASD**.


This results in a huge percentage of mis- and missed diagnoses.

*Leibson, T, et al 2013;Benz et al, 2009.

** (Arnold, K et al, 2013)