FAS, FASD: DIAGNOSIS AND MYTHS

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Barry C. Stanley

Keywords

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder, diagnosis phenotypes, I.Q., facial f eatures, expert witness

Abstract

The myth that fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is the most severe form of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD ) causes confusion and erroneous conclusions. It is not just a matter of semantics. In a recent appeal case the expert witness for the crown stated that the appellant was not severely affected since he did not have the facial features. When such an erroneous statement is accepted as fact and incorporated into the legal system it becomes an obstruction in the pursuit of justice.

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