Tomorrow is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Prevention and Support Day in B.C., and community events are taking place in Kamloops throughout the month to help raise awareness about the disorder and the struggles families living with FASD go through every day.
On Sept. 9, Thompson Rivers University is hosting a free welcome-back barbecue for students and faculty from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will be a carnival of food, games, relays, activities, music, and nearly 100 information booths, including a FASD awareness booth run by Insight Support Services. Mocktails will be served to highlight the importance of not drinking during the nine months of pregnancy.
Later that night, the Canada Games Aquatics Centre will host a $1.00 swim from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. FASD awareness information packages will be handed out to participants.
On Sept. 10, the St. Paul Street Farmers' Market will feature an FASD information booth with awareness materials, balloons, children's activities and mocktails. Radio ads will be run the week of Sept. 6 - 11 on Radio NL with information on FASD awareness and prevention.
Throughout the year, Insight Support Services offers support to local children, youth and families with neurological, cognitive and developmental disabilities. The service agency, located at 624 Tranquille Rd., offers the Key Worker and Parent Support Program, which provides direct support to families raising children and youth with FASD.
Key workers provide family-centred support services to meet the needs of individual families. Services include providing information, educational workshops, parenting support programs, life skills training and links to other family services and advocacy.
The Ministry of Children and Family Development launched Key Worker and Parent Support Programs in 2006. Thousands of children and their families have accessed services provided by 52 contracted agencies across the province.
- FASD is an umbrella term that describes the range of effects that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects can include physical, mental, behavioural and/or learning disabilities with lifelong implications.
- Health Canada estimates approximately nine in every 1,000 infants are born with FASD.
- B.C. is considered a world leader in the field of FASD prevention, diagnosis, assessment, intervention and support.
- In March 2008, B.C. released a 10-year provincial plan called Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Building on Strengths (2008-2018). The plan establishes a guide to provincial, regional and community efforts to address FASD.
For more information on Insight Support Services, go to: www.makechildrenfirst.ca/program-listings/parents-programs/129-insight-support-services-inc.html
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Children and Family Development