Often parents ask: Why bother getting a diagnosis? Differential diagnosis related to behavioral difficulties and the brain are just as crucial for successful outcomes as those related to physical health. A correct diagnosis of FASD leads to better educational outcomes, job prospects, and overall mental health than otherwise possible. We know that determing the type of cancer is critical to determination of the kind of chemotherapy or other treatment; differentiation of the cause of behavioral problems is no less important than in this example. If a child is diagnosed with ADHD (often the first diagnosis our kids receive), the usual interventions, such as medication, are not necessarily helpful to those with an FASD, or even the dosage may not be productive since brain differences can affect how medications are metabolized.
Parents often realize that "typical" parenting techniques do not remedy behavioral challenges of those with a missing diagnosis or a misdiagnosis. Once an accurate diagnosis is obtained, there are interventions that work, but they are not the ones we reflexively consider.
Others question seeking an FASD diagnosis with the statement that "It doesn't matter, there isn't help anyway." That is not true; there may not be as many evidence based interventions as for other diagnoses, but until more are diagnosed with an FASD, there is limited focus on developing those interventions which is a disadvantage for all. Furthermore, this assertion implies that there is no hope for those with an FASD. That is absolutely not true! As with all problems, early intervention is related to positive outcome. And many adults with FASD, often regardless of when diagnosis was obtained, are proof that diagnosis does matter. For a more in depth discussion of this, see FASD: Thirty Reasons Why Early Identification Matters
Diagnostic capacity in North Carolina is limited. While there may be some developmental pediatricians, psychiatrists, or psychologists willing to diagnose an individual with an FASD, those are few in number. NCFASD Informed has obtained the following information about practitioners/sites in the state with the ability to diagnose. The list will be expanded as other possibilities are confirmed.
Chad Haldeman-Englert, MD
William Allen, MD
Clinic Coordinator: Michael Pesant, LCSW
Fullerton Genetics Center
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Clinic
9 Vanderbilt Park Drive
Asheville, NC 28803
Our Brochure - PDF
Yasmin Senturias, MD
Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics
of the Carolinas
2608 E. Seventh St., Charlotte, NC 28204
Margie Jaworski, MD, FACMGG, FAAP
Evelyn Rawcliffe-Kimbrell, DO
Medical Assistant: Shacora Wiggins
Administrative Assistant: Joyce Stevens
Division of Medical Genetics
Department of Pediatrics
Brody School of Medicine
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858-4354l
In order to have an evaluation for exposure to alcohol, a referral from pediatrician or family physician must be forwarded via call or fax. Upon receipt, an appointment will be scheduled with one of the two physicians. PLEASE NOTE: Before getting a referral, have a complete neuropsychological battery completed for the individual to be evaluated. At the time the appointment is made, you will be informed of what additional materials to bring to the evaluation.