Please note that the information may be triggering for some folx. If you need immediate assistance, please call your local crisis services. Please note that this article uses person-centred versus identity-centred language at the experts' request: folx with FASD.
Alcohol is a known teratogen, an agent that can disturb the development of an embryo or fetus. No woman drinks to harm their child. Prenatal Alcohol Exposure can occur for various reasons including, but not limited to: not knowing you are pregnant, not knowing the risks, addiction, and inadequate prenatal care.
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) was first coined in 1973 to describe individuals who had been prenatally exposed to amounts of alcohol and demonstrated a particular pattern.
In December 2015, the new Canadian guidelines for diagnosing FASD across the lifespan were published, changing the terminology from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrom (pFAS), and Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental (ARND).
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a diagnostic term used to describe impacts on the brain and body of folx prenatally exposed to alcohol.
All folx with FASD are unique and have areas of strength and challenge. Systems of racism, oppression, and ableism create disability. Empowering folx with FASD honours their intersectionality and where supports can remedy systemic barriers.
Previous estimates claimed that one in every hundred Canadians have FASD. Current studies suggest that the number is closer to four to five percent, around 1.4 million people.
Despite 40 years of public health campaigns warning against the risks associated with alcohol use in pregnancy, prevalence does not appear to be decreasing. A common misconception is that FASD is associated with social, ethnic, or cultural background, but most women in Canada drink alcohol. FASD can affect all cultures and ethnicities that consume alcohol.
Our goal is to help folx with FASD and other neurodiversity understand the areas where they shine and navigate the areas where supports can help. We believe that FASD is a part of an individual's life; it is not who they are.
FASD Counselling and Consulting offers BC's only FASD tailored play therapy and expressive arts services.
It is estimated that 4-5% of all Canadians are affected by FASD. The nervous system begins developing from implantation. If you know you are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant, please avoid alcohol.
To learn more about FASD please check out our sister organization the FASD Institute