Now that it is the end of September, you hopefully know what FASD stands for. (Not sure? Read this.) FASD Awareness month is about more than an acronym though. Raising awareness is the first step to increasing support for individuals with FASD and their families.
Awareness and stigma are mutually exclusive. True awareness stomps out stigma. Awareness of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) involves education, empathy, and support for every person dealing with FASD in their lives, including mothers of children with FASD. Stigma towards women who consumed alcohol while pregnant only shames, stereotypes, and ultimately does not help individuals and families dealing with FASD.
Quick! What is the leading cause of intellectual disabilities (mental retardation) in the United States?
A. Down Syndrome
B. Autism Spectrum Disorder
C. Microcephaly caused by the Zika Virus
D. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Today, September 9th, is International FASD Awareness Day!
What is FASD? See this post about fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).
Consider taking a few moments today to talk to someone with FASD and find out how it affects his or her life.
You can also hear people explain what FASD means to them in the following resources:
Is a whole month dedicated to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) awareness really necessary? There are so many “awareness” months already for things like breast cancer, autism, and Down syndrome. Many people know of autism or can think of someone in their lives affected by cancer, but not FASD.
However, FASD is the leading known cause of intellectual disabilities in the United States. An estimated 40,000 babies a year are born with effects of prenatal alcohol exposure. FASD affects more people than Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, and Spina Bifida combined.
Chances are, there are people in our lives right now who are affected by FASD. These people need us to be informed. The more we are aware, the better friends, neighbors, and community members we can be.
Okay, raise your hand if you know what FASD stands for. (If your hand was down, this post is for you!)
September is FASD awareness month and to kick it off this post will give you the basics that everyone should know about FASD.
FASD stands for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. FASD is an umbrella term for multiple disorders caused by exposure to alcohol before birth. The effects of being exposed to alcohol prenatally are wide-ranging and permanent. While there is no cure, FASD is preventable.