This Saturday, 9 September 2023, is International Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day.
Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is a lifelong neurodevelopmental condition, that occurs as a result of prenatal alcohol exposure. The campaign, held during FASD Awareness month, is to draw attention to the importance of going alcohol-free for the nine months of pregnancy.
A person with FASD may have challenges with their memory, mental and physical health, coordination, and emotional regulation. FASD is a spectrum, and each person with FASD is affected differently. Early diagnosis and appropriate support are essential, especially for executive functioning.
Joy HG, from Wolverhampton, adopted two young girls from Birmingham with FASD. “FASD is a very serious, and heart-breaking condition. However, it is so poorly understood and there are a lot of misconceptions in the media that make many people fear adopting children with FASD.”
Joy, who now delivers FASD training for Adopt Birmingham, goes on to say: “My two girls are not genetically linked and have had very different starts to life, but they are lovely, funny and have a wonderful perspective on the world.”
“Be open and don’t be afraid to ask questions, learn what the condition is, and what it isn’t! I’ve found watching them grow and achieve really beautiful and rewarding, and I’m a better parent for having them.”
This year, FASD UK Alliance and the National Organisation for FASD are asking everyone to take 5 for FASD. Whether that’s taking 5 minutes to explain FASD to someone new, taking the time to learn 5 new things about FASD, or giving someone with FASD a high-five to celebrate their achievements!