International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day – held on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year to symbolize the nine months of pregnancy – aims to bring attention to the risks of prenatal exposure to alcohol.
FASD is the leading known cause of preventable developmental disability in many countries, including Canada. People with FASD may have a range of physical, brain and central nervous system disabilities, as well as cognitive, behavioural and emotional issues. FASD cannot be cured and has lifelong impacts on individuals, their families and society. According to a rough estimation, one out of every 100 Canadians – or about 355,000 people nationwide – have FASD.
In Ontario, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services launched a new initiative this year to develop a provincial FASD strategy. An FASD Expert Group of researchers and clinicians, including CAMH Senior Scientist Dr. Svetlana (Lana) Popova, is collaborating with the province in this work. (Dr. Popova also presented FASD research to the federal House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights earlier this year. Read the Standing Committee’s FASD recommendations and the federal government’s response.)
Today, CAMH is participating with our global partners in the second year of an International Campaign to Raise Awareness of the Risks of Drinking in Pregnancy. We are pleased to be joining more than 40 countries in increasing understanding of this important issue.
You can find out more about FASD in these resources:
Guilt, shame and redemption: coping with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Generational legacy: the devastation of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Breaking the cycle of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
FASD: A parent's perspective
Video: FASD Awareness Day
Research: The impact of fetal alcohol exposure
On the CAMHblog: Every day should be Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder – health information for clients and families
FASD resources for health care professionals, clients and families – overview, clinical guidelines, assessment and diagnosis, treatment