Persons with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) who are not mentally retarded often have difficulty qualifying for special educational and vocational services. In this pilot study, 16 nonretarded young adults with FAS were divided into two groups--one with average to above-average IQ and one with borderline to low-average IQ. Participants in both groups manifested clear deficits on neuropsychological measures sensitive to complex attention, verbal learning, and executive function. The frequency and severity of cognitive impairment demonstrated in both FAS groups were greater than what would have been predicted on the basis of IQ alone. The implications of these findings for identification and management of cognitive impairment in individuals with FAS are discussed.