FASD Awareness Day for the Bulkley Valley
It is estimated that about one out of every one hundred babies born in Canada is born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. September 9th has been marked internationally as FASD Awareness Day. Since this year the day falls on a Sunday many events across the region are taking place throughout the entire weekend. Some symptoms of FASD are poor memory, over sensitivity to light and sound, and troubles understanding the concepts of time and money, Smithers Community Services FASD Coordinator Nathalie Brassard explains, “It's so broad because everybody is different and everybody is affected differently, so we have to understand that FASD is a permanent brain based disability so like someone who would have a stroke and become paralysed it's basically part of the brain that has been affected for the rest of their lives, so most of the time it's no physical so there's not going to be sign except on the fact that on a daily basis they have struggles.”
The Bulkley Valley FASD committee is trying to focus less on just pregnant women and focus on the community as a whole. Brassard says, “This is really about all of us and if we can care for each other and be there to support each other, there's more chance that women won't be drinking during pregnancy very often people drink because there is a lack of support, there's lots of trauma...but if we are there for them we can pass on the information and there might be a difference.”
Despite beliefs that women can consume a little bit of alcohol during pregnancy, Brassard says that hasn’t been confirmed, “So you hear different messages and there is a different research coming out all of the time saying that maybe some alcohol is safe we don't know if that is s true so we recommend to not drink at all.”
The Bulkley Valley FASD Committee says this is a year event and can contact the committee for any information firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.scsa.ca .