Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) is known to cause negative outcomes for individuals exposed. However, the majority of people with prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) are also exposed to other prenatal or postnatal factors that may negatively impact their physical and mental health, including exposure to other substances, toxic stress, lack of resources, abuse, and neglect. These factors can interact with one another, leading to unexpected or cumulative negative effects on health outcomes.
Early life assessment of neurodevelopment and behaviour (NDB) can facilitate timely and meaningful intervention for young children at risk of negative outcomes. In the current study, researchers reviewed the literature to examine what has been learned over the last forty years about NDB difficulties in children with PAE in the first 2 years of life.
Impaired adaptive function and communication abilities may prevent individuals with PAE from successfully functioning independently and may impact them academically, socially, and occupationally.
The researchers surveyed 19 clinics providing diagnostic services in Alberta, Canada to examine the consistencies and differences in clinical practice. The goal of this study is to bring awareness to areas where measures may be lacking and to identify tools being used in the diagnostic process, including those that are not suggested in the current Canadian guideline.