Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) affects four per cent of Canadians

On Monday, September 9, the Foster Family Coalition held a free public BBQ at the Somba K’e Plaza, for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day which is a nation-wide event.

Garvey says it’s really important for everyone in the community to understand how to support people who have FASD. Arthur C. Green/The Moose

Korry Garvey works with the Foster Family Coalition (FFCNWT) and was a volunteer at today’s event.

According to Garvey FASD is a diagnostic term used to describe impacts on the brain and body of individuals prenatally exposed to alcohol. FASD is a lifelong disability.

“So today is September 9 which is a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day,” Garvey said. “This is a disability that’s caused by alcohol exposure prenatally.”

Garvey says it’s really important for everyone in the community to understand how to support people who have FASD.

“It’s important to support your family and friends who are affected by this,” Garvey said. “It makes life so much better for them.”

Individuals with FASD will experience some degree of challenges in their daily living and need support with motor skills, physical health, learning memory, attention, communication, emotional regulation and social skills to reach their full potential and they can reach their full potential with this support Garvey says.

FASD has various disabilities accosted with the disease, here are some of the following conditions associated with FASD:

Physical Disabilities

  • Poor balance
  • Poor coordination
  • Auditory impairments
  • Problems with motor control

Cognitive Disabilities

  • Difficulty with memory
  • Slow information processing
  • Impaired executive functioning
  • Problems generalizing
  • Confabulation

Behavioral Disabilities

  • Problems with social skills
  • Lack of inhibitions
  • Reacting poorly to change
  • Poor understanding of ownership

Sensory Disabilities

  • Over or under sensitivity in taste, touch, sight, smell, hearing, vestibular input and proprioception.

The event featured music by DJ Templevolant and there was also a door prize of $100 which was provided by the Yellowknife Walmart.

Kieron Testart who is currently running for MLA in the Kam Lake area was at today’s event manning the BBQ. Arthur C. Green/The Moose

There were also some local MLA candidates in attendance grilling on the BBQs. One of those people was Kieron Testart who is currently running for MLA in the Kam Lake area.

“We’re raising awareness for FASD and that’s a really important issue for the Northwest Territories,” Testart said. “It’s a long-standing chronic issue and it really impacts families. We want to make sure that our kid’s children are healthy, families are healthy and that we can, you know, end the stigma for children who are experiencing this or adults are experiencing this, but also make sure it doesn’t happen anymore, as well.”

The FFCNWT has also recently launched three FASD prevention posters that encourage friends and family members of pregnant people to be supportive during pregnancy by joining them in alcohol-free activities.

To learn more please visit www.saskfasdnetwork.ca/learn

agreen@vistaradio.ca

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