Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Month
September 20, 2019
Did you know that Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the number one cause of developmental disabilities, and is ahead of Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
September is FASD Awareness Month, a time to create awareness around the importance of abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy. FASD is referred to as the invisible disability and does not discriminate – every woman who is pregnant and consumes alcohol is at risk of having a baby with FASD.
Our FASD Support Program at Wood’s Homes has been supporting caregivers and families impacted by this disorder for over 20 years. Raising and supporting individuals with FASD can be challenging, so we work hard to create a community where families feel like they belong, and where they can share successes and work through struggles. Our mantra is ‘Creating our new normal today, for hope and success tomorrow.’
In recognition of FASD Awareness Month, we wanted to share our thanks to the many volunteers we work with who help make this program the success it is. These volunteers are part of our Youth Recreation Program, which runs at the same time as our caregiver networking groups. Some of our volunteers are adults with FASD who enjoy being a helpful part of our community. A few of favourite family events are bowling and laser tag, and we always enjoy visiting the Calgary Zoo and Calaway Park.
Our annual summer camping trip is becoming a much-anticipated event every year; this year, we gathered at Nature’s Hideaway for a weekend of fun. Highlights included floating down the river, badminton, volleyball and watching a movie in the park on the big screen. The snack bar with popcorn and candy were definitely a hit with the youth.
This month, we encourage you to start the conversation about FASD and how to ensure healthy pregnancies by letting those around you know that no amount of alcohol is safe. We challenge you to help fight the stigma around FASD, and focus on understanding and accepting individuals who are impacted.