It is often helpful to examine siblings and parents of an individual suspected of having FAS, either in person or by photographs, to determine whether findings on the examination might be familial and if other siblings may also be affected.
Individuals with developmental delay or birth defects may be referred to a clinical geneticist for genetic testing or to a developmental pediatrician or neurologist for evaluation and diagnosis of FAS.
Unlike many birth defects which are identified at birth and then treated, FAS and FAE are usually overlooked at birth and treated later by mental health specialists, and often unknowingly.
In addition to the studies by Streissguth, several other authors in different countries have as of the early 2000s reported on long term outcome of individuals diagnosed with FAS.
Although there is a wide range of effects that result from in utero alcohol exposure, the diagnosis of FAS is recognized as the most severe birth defect that occurs.