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FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) Day and Support Group

on September 6, 2019
Parent Caregiver Support Group

For Immediate Release: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a diagnostic term that describes the effects on the brain and body of people exposed to alcohol in pregnancy. It is a lifelong disability and people with FASD experience challenges in their daily living and need support with many areas in their lives to reach their full potential. Each person with FASD is unique and has areas of strengths and challenges. Symptoms include permanent brain damage, vision and hearing difficulties, organ damage, slow growth and bone and other limb deformities.

September is FASD Awareness Month, while September 9th is FASD Awareness Day. Lutherwood is facilitating a new FASD Caregiver Support Group. The group will begin meeting in September.

Support Group Information:

  • Waterloo Region FASD Support Group for Parents and Caregivers is a series of free support meetings, each covering a different topic including “Understanding the FASD Brain”, “Safety”, and a guest speaker night
  • The first meeting takes place on Thursday, September 19th, and will continue on the third Thursday of the month until March 19th 2020.
  • To register, Call 519-749-2932 ext. 3336 or email rmacdonald@lutherwood.ca

Quick Facts:

  • Experts agree that there is no safe level of alcohol during pregnancy. Alcohol crosses the placenta and can affect the developing brain and organs of the unborn baby
  • The province of Ontario recently funded FASD Coordinators who provide FASD expertise, consultation and training for families, service providers and communities. In Waterloo Region, the FASD Coordinator is part of Sunbeam services at the Developmental Services Resource Centre (DSRC).
  • Canadian Medical Association journal published a study stating a 240% increase in alcohol related visits to hospital by women aged 25-29 from 2003 to 2016
  • FASD Is the leading cause of developmental disability in Canada
  • Current studies suggest 2-4% of Canadians have FASD, since it’s hard to see and diagnose, the real number may be higher
  • FASD costs Canadians $5.3 – 9.7 billion each year in care and services
  • FASD is higher in vulnerable populations, including the child welfare and justice systems
  • $150,000 on FASD prevention saves $1.6 million in treatment – huge return on investment

Resources:
www.rethinkyourdrinking.ca
www.fasdwaterlooregion.ca

Media Contacts:
Robert McDonald, Resource Coordinator, Lutherwood
rmacdonald@lutherwood.ca
519-749-8740 ext. 3336

Michelle Hughes, Parent of child with FASD and group member hughesfam2013@gmail.com
519-221-7027

Quote:
“I was eager to be a part of this project to provide a new and refreshed opportunity to improve the information and support available to caregivers in our community. Most importantly provide a safe and understanding space for caregivers to share and learn together. The format of this group is unique and bridges support, community and education in a six-week series.” – Michelle Hughes

This Press Package has been prepared by the Waterloo Region FASD Action Group in partnership with Lutherwood.