Abstract and Keywords
Prenatal exposure to teratogens may alter fetal development and significantly impact later life. Perhaps the best known teratogen is alcohol; prenatal alcohol exposure causes a broad range of effects that can cause lifelong impairment. Of greatest significance are the functional impairments in behavior and cognition. Recognition of these impairments led to the inclusion of the neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure (ND-PAE) in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders under “conditions for further study.” This proposed diagnosis captures the significant neurodevelopmental and mental health impacts associated with prenatal alcohol exposure and requires impairment in neurocognitive functioning, self-regulation, and adaptive functioning. This chapter reviews clinical impacts of prenatal alcohol exposure, with particular focus on ND-PAE. Methods for comprehensively assessing fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, specifically ND-PAE, are discussed as well as preliminary evidence for implementing effective interventions with these individuals.
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