Preventing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is simple

Brenda sincerely wants to attend school each day.

Brenda sincerely wants to attend school each day.

She goes to bed at night planning to go the next morning. When morning arrives obstacles block her way.

She has to wake up with a sufficient amount of time to get ready and walk to school. Planning, timing, organizing, maintaining focus and predicting outcomes are only some of the tasks involved in arriving at school on time.

This action might seem simple but with an organic brain injury each step is a complicated process.

International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day is Sept. 9.

Each year on the ninth day of the ninth month, this day acts as a reminder to people around the world that during the nine months of pregnancy no amount of alcohol is safe.

It is also an opportunity to think how we can prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and support those living with FASD in our communities.

Alcohol harms a developing fetus because the molecular structure of alcohol is so tiny it passes freely through the placenta and matches the blood alcohol concentration of the mother.

Alcohol can affect fetal development in four significant ways; death, malformations, growth deficiency and cognitive disabilities.

The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates that nine in every one thousand children is affected in some way by FASD.

FASD is known as an equal opportunity disability, meaning that it occurs among all genders, ages, races and socio-economic levels.

FASD is lifelong and often invisible.

A person living with an FASD experiences the world differently due to brain injury and may experience difficulties with memory, understanding consequences, planning, functioning in social settings, problem solving, sensory processing, and processing and understanding language.

Although often a person experiencing challenges as a result of prenatal alcohol exposure, does have strengths and can be highly resourceful in trying to complete daily tasks.

People living with FASD require a great deal of understanding and external support, as each day is a challenge living in a world that is not designed for difference.

Creating awareness and understanding and preventing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder has been a primary goal of the College of New Caledonia (CNC) Lakes District campus in collaboration with and support from many community businesses, services, organizations and individuals.

By working together and passing on experiential knowledge, governments, communities, services, and individuals can make a difference in understanding and supporting FASD prevention and intervention activities.

Please join the staff and students at CNC on Sept. 9 at 9 a.m. for a community recognition ceremony to acknowledge International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day.

Share the message that healthy communities support healthy pregnancies.