Every year on September 9th Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day is observed around the world. The first FASD Awareness Day was 9/9/99 - the ninth day of the ninth month of the year to bring attention to the nine months of pregnancy during which consuming alcohol is risky for mothers.
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a broad term describing birth defects and conditions in people whose mothers drank alcohol when they were pregnant.
People with FASD can experience a range of physical, mental, behavioural and learning problems, including:
- poor organizational skills
- poor concentration, attention and memory
- trouble speaking well and learning to read
- trouble adapting to change
- poor judgment, problem-solving skills and ability to learn from experience
- socially inappropriate behaviours
- poor ability to control impulsive behaviours
- low tolerance for frustration
- low level of understanding.
These problems vary in intensity and can affect those with the disorder throughout their lives. A high percentage of youth in the criminal justice system have been identified with FASD.
Gloria Chaim, CAMH Deputy Clinical Director of the Child Youth & Family Program is available to talk about the effects of FASD in children.
Media contact: Michael Torres, Media Relations, CAMH; 416-595-6015