Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a lifelong disability affecting individuals and communities across B.C.
Life is challenging for those living with FASD and they often face a wide range of physical, mental, behavioural and learning challenges which are not always obvious to others. Formal diagnosis and treatment options are not widely available.
As stated in government’s Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Building on Strengths A Provincial Plan for British Columbia (2008-2018), “A planned and coordinated response is needed that builds on the strengths and resilience of women, and children, youth and adults living with FASD and their families.” More is needed to be done to support those living with FASD and for the families that assist them. Community level interventions in addition to individual and family supports are urgently needed. The Representative will continue to monitor this plan and looks forward to improved practical strategies for diagnosis and intervention.
Creating province wide awareness of FASD and the effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy is the key to prevention. I hope that FASD Awareness day will serve as a reminder of our responsibilities to work to prevent FASD and to support those living with FASD.
Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond
Representative for Children and Youth, British Columbia