Formerly known as MOFAS: Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Exciting News
from MOFAS

If you're looking for the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) you have come to the right place. We have some exciting news about our organization. We have a new name! MOFAS has officially been renamed Proof Alliance. Our mission remains the same: to prevent prenatal alcohol exposure and to improve the quality of life for people living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).

Why PR%F

We now have the proof that prenatal alcohol exposure is a leading cause of brain injury in children. We have the proof that FASD is 100% preventable and people living with an FASD can reach 100% of their potential.

Why Alliance?

We seek to build powerful alliances with people with an FASD, their families, legislators, experts in the field, new partners, and community members to bring awareness, research, and services to this field.

What's Next?

Proof Alliance is rebranding, expanding, and we're moving! We have a new logo, website, and prevention campaign to help change the norms around drinking during pregnancy. And in May 2019 we will be moving to a stand-alone building. Proof Alliance commits to the people of Minnesota and we will continue to develop transformative programs to help Minnesotans impacted by FASD.

Evaluation for FASD

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What is FASD?

Prenatal alcohol exposure (or drinking alcohol during pregnancy) can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). FASD is not a diagnosis but rather an umbrella term describing the range of birth defects caused by prenatal alcohol exposure. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications.

What are some characteristics of FASD?

The effects of prenatal alcohol exposure can impact each person differently. Some of the signs to look for that may indicate the need for an FASD assessment include:

  • Hearing or vision problems
  • Difficulty in school
  • Poor coordination
  • Sensitivity to light, touch, or sound
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Memory issues
  • Poor social skills
  • Impulsivity
  • Poor reasoning and judgment skills

What does the FASD assessment process include?

Unfortunately, there is not a simple medical test (such as a blood test) that can be used to confirm a diagnosis under the FASD umbrella. Instead, FASD is diagnosed by a team of professionals assessing 4 specific areas:

  • Prenatal alcohol history
  • Brain function and structure
  • Facial features
  • Growth issues

You may be asked about or asked to provide the following for an FASD assessment:

  • History of prenatal alcohol exposure
  • Medical history of birth family
  • History of complications during pregnancy
  • Birth or adoption records
  • Medical records
  • Records from mental health, neurological and behavioral development assessments
  • School records that documentacademic progress and issues, including Individual Education Plans (IEPs) if appropriate
  • Social Services records if available
  • Results of occupational, physical,and speech/language therapy
  • Records documenting any adverse childhood events

The assessment process can take up to 8 hours and may include:

  1. History: A comprehensive history of the child’s development and behavior and any evidence of prenatal alcohol exposure is discussed.
  2. Physical exam: Measurements of the head and face are taken, and the child is given a complete physical exam.
  3. Neurodevelopmental assessment: Comprehensive testing is done to evaluate 10 different brain functions, including memory, executive functioning, and motor skills.
  4. Diagnosis: All assessments are reviewed by the diagnostic team and evaluated to see if they meet the criteria for a diagnosis under the FASD umbrella.
  5. Evaluation report: A summary of the findings is prepared along with any specific recommendations for follow-up support and treatment.

What are benefits of an assessment?

Receiving an assessment can help determine an accurate medical history and connect you with the supports needed to help your child reach their full potential. An assessment can help your family create an effective plan for services and support. It can provide greater understanding and acceptance, and it can contribute to more positive long-term outcomes.

Where can I get an assessment?

To find the clinic nearest to you that provides FASD assessments, visit our online Resource Directory at proofalliance.org

Sources:

  • Journal of American Medical Association
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC)
  • Wilder Research

Last updated: June 2019

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