The month of September 2022 has been proclaimed Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Month in the Town of Amherst.
“Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is a diagnostic term used to describe the impact on the brain and body of individuals who were exposed to alcohol prior to their birth,” Mayor David Kogon said on Aug. 31, 2022, as he signed the proclamation on behalf of the Amherst town council.
“Individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum disorder experience some degree of challenges in their daily living,” Kogon added. “They need support with motor skills, physical health, learning, memory, attention, communication, emotional regulation and social skills to reach their full potential.
“I encourage our citizens to learn more about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in order to help improve the prevention of the disorder as well as the diagnosis and support for individuals with the disorder.”
A federal government website indicates more than 3,000 babies are born in Canada each year with the disorder and about 300,000 people are currently living with it.
The website also indicates the birth defects and developmental disabilities resulting from the disorder can be prevented by avoiding the consumption of any alcohol during pregnancy.
“No amount or type of alcohol during pregnancy is considered safe,” the website states.
More information about the disorder can be found on the fasdNL website at www.fasdnl.ca or visiting the organization’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at @fasdnl.
The organization is currently leading an Atlantic Canada-wide campaign to promote the prevention and understanding of the disorder, increase the capacity for educating justice professionals about the disorder and supporting networks and collaborative action among the region’s stakeholders. The organization asked the town to issue the proclamation as part of that campaign.