Alcohol is toxic to the developing brain, affecting its function across most domains. Affected children and families need collaborative support; no single source is equipped to provide comprehensive care. An FASD team may consist of a general and/or developmental pediatrician, physical and/or occupational therapists, speech-language pathologist, educational specialist, psychologist and/or psychiatrist, and social worker. The composition of a particular FASD team will vary, dependent upon a child’s individual and his or her family’s needs and the resources available in a given geographic region.

However a team is comprised, it will remain variously involved long after a diagnosis is made, providing ongoing assessment and care as the child develops. Team composition may change over time as the needs of the child and family change. Monitoring and coordinating this care is the job of the pediatrician.

Team-based Care in the Primary Care Pediatric Office

Everyone within the medical home who contacts the patient or the family has a role to play in care. Team-based care allows physicians to connect with their patients on key clinical issues and provide comprehensive, continuous, coordinated care by involving more of the practice staff in patient care as appropriate to their training and capabilities. Team-based care can also increase a medical home’s efficiency and productivity.

 AAP Clinical Report: Guiding Principles for Team-Based Pediatric Care
There’s No ‘I’ in Teamwork: AAP Policy Explained

Care Team Professionals

As the child’s first point of contact, the pediatrician is usually the trusted convener and point of contact for the family and involved professionals, both in the diagnostic process and in subsequent case management. The pediatrician can coordinate the recommendations of an interprofessional care team, communicate information to the family, monitor efficacy, and endorse follow-up treatment.

Review the potential membership of an FASD Team (Interprofessional Team Approaches to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders) to make appropriate referrals during the diagnostic or treatment planning phases.

Review educational information on the value of an interprofessional care team for working with individuals with an FASD.

Educational Care for Children with ND-PAE

Pediatricians can be advocates for children, birth and foster families, and kinship caregivers by facilitating school-based interventions to help children with learning challenges related to Neurobehavioral Disorders Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (ND-PAE).

Pediatrician Resources

Parental/Caregiver Resources

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American Academy of Pediatrics