Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day

Every year on September 9th, people all around the world participate in events to observe Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Participants hope to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking alcohol during pregnancy and the lifetime demands of raising a child with FASD. The ninth day of the ninth month was chosen to help people remember that during the nine months of pregnancy, a woman should not drink alcohol.

Alcohol affects the growth of a fetus and can cause birth defects. All types of alcoholic drinks can harm a fetus during pregnancy. Studies to date have not been able to find a safe limit for alcohol use during pregnancy. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, the safest choice is to drink no alcohol at all.

What is FASD?

FASD is a term used to describe a wide range of life-long physical, mental, and behavioural effects that can occur when a baby is exposed to alcohol during pregnancy. Children with FASD may experience:

  • Learning disabilities
  • Hyperactivity
  • Attention or memory deficits
  • Difficulty managing anger
  • Poor judgement
  • Difficulties with problem solving

As FASD children become adults, they are at increased risk of:

  • Trouble with the law
  • Unemployment
  • Homelessness
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Mental health issues

There is no cure for FASD. The challenges are life-long but early diagnosis and strong support systems can help reduce some of the challenges of the disorder.

What is Chatham-Kent doing about FASD? A group of individuals and organizations in Chatham-Kent are working together to enhance supports and services available to individuals and families with FASD. Are you aware that in Chatham-Kent

  • Work continues to spread the word about the dangers of drinking during pregnancy and while planning a pregnancy?
  • Work continues to increase awareness of FASD to those working in the education, medical, social service, and justice system?
  • The Children’s Treatment Centre of Chatham-Kent has an FASD Support Worker?

For more information:
Canada FASD Research Network
Chatham-Kent FASD Network
Video by Babybornfree: The Faces of Hidden Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Chatham-Kent Library FASD Booklist 2019
Let’s Talk FASD – VON

Last updated: July 2020