What is the FAS DPN?    

The Washington State Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Diagnostic & Prevention Network (FAS DPN) started out as a single FASD diagnostic clinic at the University of Washington in Seattle in 1993. It was sponsored by the CDC as a FASD primary prevention study. The clinic expanded into a statewide network of interdisciplinary FASD diagnostic clinics led by the core clinical/research/training clinic at the Center on Human Development and Disability at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. Susan J. (Astley) Hemingway, Ph.D., Professor of Epidemiology/Pediatrics, is the Director of the FAS DPN. The network was established in 1995 through Washington State Senate Bill 5688 and RCW 71.24.605. Over the years it has received support from the CDC, March of Dimes, Chavez Memorial Fund, and WA State Department of Social and Health Services. In 2023 the WA State Legislature passed House Bill 1168 supporting statewide diagnosis and intervention efforts.

Each clinic in the network uses the same interdisciplinary approach to diagnosis and the same systematic diagnostic method-the 4-Digit Diagnostic Code. The mission of the FAS DPN is primary and secondary prevention of FAS through screening, diagnosis, intervention, training, education, and research. The WA State FAS DPN began diagnosing patients in 1993 and has diagnosed over 3,000 patients to date.

The WA State FAS DPN has expanded both nationally and internationally through the training of interdisciplinary teams. Several hundred interdisciplinary teams have been trained around the world. Major accomplishments of the FAS DPN include:

  • Creation of a computerized FAS Facial Photographic Screening Tool.
  • Ten-year, population-based FAS screening in foster care confirming, 1 out of every 100 children in WA foster care has FAS.
  • Juvenile Justice FASD Screening/Diagnostic Initiative.
  • Creation of the FASD 4-Digit Diagnostic Code.
  • Creation of the FAS Facial Photographic Analysis software.
  • Creation of the interdisciplinary model for FASD diagnosis.
  • Establishment of the WA State FAS Diagnostic & Prevention Network.
  • Diagnosis of over 2,000 patients to date.
  • Publication of a lifetime profile of birth mothers of children with FAS and factors that enhanced and hindered their ability to achieve sobriety and practice effective family planning.


  • Discovery that the prevalence of FAS among children in foster care born between 1993 and 1998 has significantly declined in King County. This is correlated with a significant decline in maternal drinking during pregnancy in the same years.
  • CDC-sponsored randomized control trial to assess an individualized, supportive, behavioral consultation intervention for parents and school staff of children with FASD.
  • CDC-sponsored observational study of school-based social communication deficits among children with FASD.
  • NIAAA-sponsored motor-sensory intevention research for children with FASD.
  • Affiliation with NOFAS Washington State providing family support to children/adolescents with FASD.
  • FASD training of community professionals from WA State (1,000s trained).
  • FASD training program to establish interdisciplinary FASD diagnostic teams worldwide (>150 teams trained).
  • Worldwide distribution of FASD diagnostic tools and software.
  • Online training course for use of the FASD 4-Digit Diagnostic Code.
  • NIAAA: Alcohol teratogenicity studies, 1984-92.
  • GE: FAS MRS study, 1991-92.
  • Establishment of the FAS DPN database on over 7,000 patients, 1992 to present.
  • Establishment of the FAS DPN Photographic Image Analysis Laboratory for clinical and research analysis of facial photographs, 1992 to present.
  • Establishment of a FAS DPN Patient Registry as a resource for invitation of patients into FASD research studies, 1992 to present.
  • CDC: FAS Primary Prevention study, 1992-97.
  • CDC:FASD Social Communication Intervention study, 2001-2006
  • CDC: FASD Behavioral Consultation Study creating the Families Moving Forward intervention program 2001-2010..
  • NIAAA: FASD MRI/MRS/fMRI study, 2002-07.
  • NIAAA: FASD Motor-sensory Intervention study 2009-14.
  • NIH: National Children's Study Dysmorphology Assessment Instrument, 2010.
  • Publication of over 200 research articles by the FAS DPN clinical/research team.