Often in partnership with Interior Health, FASD assessments are provided for children and youth up to age 19. Additional professionals such as a pediatrician, a psychiatrist, a speech/language pathologist, or an occupational therapist may also be involved.

The psychology assessment provided by OAC involves examination of the cognitive, adaptive and behavioural difficulties often evident in individuals with FASD (e.g., intellectual and functional independence deficits, problems with attention and concentration, communication limitations, learning difficulties, and social struggles). Alternate explanations for observed difficulties, such as other medical or psychological disorders, are considered.


Sometimes individuals wish to refer a child for an FASD assessment when there is no confirmed documentation of the biological mother’s use of alcohol during pregnancy. Although it is still possible to do the FASD assessment, lacking documentation of prenatal alcohol exposure typically creates difficulties with respect to the final diagnosis that can be made. In those situations, in which the biological mother’s use of alcohol or drugs during pregnancy is not confirmed, you may wish to consider referring the child for a comprehensive educational assessment. The psychologist could then provide you with:

  1. A good understanding of the child’s cognitive and behavioural strengths and weaknesses
  2. A set of recommendations designed to support the child at home and at school
  3. A comment with respect to whether or not a full FASD assessment seems appropriate.

Private assessments can be conducted in some circumstances when a pediatrician can be involved in consultation and is willing to provide relevant medical information and confirm the final medical diagnosis.

Typical Diagnoses Considered
  • FASD (including FAS, at risk for FASD, & Neurodevelopmental Disorder, not otherwise specified)
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Specific Learning Disabilities
  • Emotional and behavioural disorders
Types of Conclusions and Recommendations Made
  • Diagnostic formulations
  • Comments regarding appropriate supports within the school system
  • Specific school-based interventions/strategies
  • Other supports required (e.g., speech and language therapy, behavioural consultation, occupational therapy, psychiatric follow-up, family support groups, counseling)
  • Suggestions for caregivers and other involved professionals
  • Recommendations may include home based recommendations such as activities for parents, and website resources if applicable.