To establish the prevalence of FASD in school-aged childrenCOFASP

Project Description

Researchers from MSACD are working as Co-Investigators with The Collaboration on FASD Prevalence (CoFASP) research consortium, comprised of research teams led by Drs. Christina Chambers and Phil May, that seeks to establish the prevalence of FASD among school-aged children in several U.S. communities, located in California, North Carolina, and the Northern Plains, using active case ascertainment methodology. In addition to establishing a more precise and representative prevalence estimate through standardized diagnostic criteria for FASD, NIAAA’s goal for this initiative is to establish a publically available database to facilitate future FASD research.  

We are part of the San Diego arm of this project and the MSACD contribution is two-fold.  First, to provide expertise on developmental testing to identify behavioral characteristics of alcohol-affected children.  Drs. Coles and Kable developed a battery to be administered to all children in this study and, working with collaborators in New Mexico, created a method for characterizing the cognitive, adaptive and behavioral  outcomes that will identify affected children .  A second  contribution is training San Diego Staff and School personnel to use the MILE intervention program as a way of providing treatment to children identified during this epidemiological study and supporting schools who have agreed to participate in this effort.

Quick Facts about CoFASP

  • This project will be the first to quantify the prevalence of FASD in the United States
  • Children are being recruited California, South Dakota and North Carolina
  • First grade children in San Diego County School are invited to participate
  • Parents complete a screening questionnaire to identify children at risk
  • Children are also identified based on growth (height, weight and head circumference)
  • Mother answer questionnaires about alcohol use and nutrition
  • Children who are identified as having learning problems are offered the MILE intervention


The project is funded by the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol-Abuse (NIAAA). It is being carried out in San Diego with the support of faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA.