What is FASD?
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) can occur when a baby is exposed to alcohol while in the mother’s womb. FASD is a permanent, physical brain injury. The degree of injury to the baby’s brain will be dependent on the stage of development and how much alcohol the baby was exposed to.
FASD Awareness Day
FASD awareness day is on September 9. This day was chosen to signify the importance of being alcohol free throughout a pregnancy as symbolized by the ninth day of the ninth month.
What is the Prevalence of FASD?
A recent study indicated that the prevalence of FASD among school children in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is 2-3%.1
Therefore, in Peel, the conservative estimate of individuals with FASD is: 7,013.
How does FASD present itself?
FASD can present with the following:
How do you diagnosis FASD?
- Physical facial feature abnormalities
- Cognitive deficits
- Behavioural issues
In Canada, we have the 2015 Canadian FASD Diagnostic guideline.2
The guidelines outline that a multidisciplinary approach is best used to reach a diagnosis of FASD. This includes the following team members:
What resources are available in Peel Region?
- Speech-Language Pathologist
- Occupational Therapist
Currently, we have the following resources in Peel:
- The Peel FASD Clinical Service Team: this is the diagnostic team that draws on the multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis as discussed in the 2015 Canadian guidelines.
- The Peel FASD Worker
1. Popova, S., Lange, S., Chudley, A., Reynolds, J., & Rehm, J. (2018). World Health Organization International Study on the Prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Canadian Component. Retrieved from Centre for Addiction and Mental Health website: https://www.camh.ca/en/research/news_and_publications/reports_and_books/Documents/WHO-FASD-Report-English-April2018.pdf
2. Cook, J. L., Green, C. R., Lilley, C. M., Anderson, S. M., Baldwin, M. E., Chudley, A. E., … Rosales, T. (2015). Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: a guideline for diagnosis across the lifespan. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 188(3), 191-197. doi:10.1503/cmaj.141593