Tuesday, September 6, 2011

FASD Awareness Day in NC-- read on!

 Finally, someone somewhere will recognize this as an issue and address it.  Even the schools here have not heard of FAS.  That is very difficult for those of us raising children with FASD.  Thought I'd share this as the 9th is just around the corner.  Read on.

NC Teratogen Information Services and
Fetal Alcohol Prevention Program
Contact: Amy Hendricks, Project Director
828.213.0035 work
828.646.7766 cell
September 9, 2011

Governor Beverly Perdue Declares September 9th, 2011 to be
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day in North Carolina

On September 9, 2011, North Carolina will join the world in recognizing International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), alcohol is more damaging to an unborn baby than tobacco, crack, cocaine, marijuana or heroin. While many women stop drinking as soon as they discover they are pregnant, alcohol can affect an unborn baby even before a woman knows she is pregnant. The developing brain is highly vulnerable to the toxic effects of alcohol at every stage of pregnancy, and if a woman avoids alcohol for the entire nine months of her pregnancy, she will prevent the leading known cause of intellectual disabilities and birth defects in the United States: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).
Each year in the United States, there are an estimated 40,000 babies born with an FASD, which is more than HIV, Downs Syndrome and Spina Bifida combined. Each year in North Carolina there are an estimated 253 children who are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and
1,267 children born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). A child with an FASD requires a lifetime of services across various health care and support systems, which means that many families face a lifelong struggle to help their loved ones find supportive education, healthcare, housing, employment and social networks. Individuals affected by an FASD are found in every system of care, making coordination between various systems an integral component of FASD programming. Early identification and diagnosis can help a child with an FASD receive intervention services to maximize his or her potential.
According to the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS), FAS alone cost the United States $5.4 billion annually in direct and indirect cost. “That is why delivering this prevention message is so important. Alcohol and Pregnancy Don’t Mix! There is no safe time, no safe amount and no safe type of alcohol to drink during pregnancy or while trying to become pregnant," said Amy Hendricks, Project Director for the NC Teratogen Information Services (NCTIS) and the Fetal Alcohol Prevention Program. "As the lead agency for FASD activities in North Carolina, NCTIS is educating women of child-bearing age (18 – 44 years) and their care providers about the adverse effects of alcohol use during pregnancy. In partnership with the Centers for Prevention Resources, activities are coordinated across the state targeting local OB/GYN providers, substance abuse providers, allied health professionals, schools and the general community. This on-going statewide awareness effort is necessary to educate communities about the importance of supporting women to have an entirely alcohol-free pregnancy and avoid the devastating, lifelong consequences of an FASD. This is a disability that is 100% preventable.”
For more information or to have an FASD training in your community, call 1-888-810-2800 or visit North Carolina’s FASD website @ www.ncpregnancy.org. If you are concerned that medicines, alcohol or chemicals may have hurt your unborn baby, call the confidential NC Pregnancy Exposure Riskline @ 1-800-532-6302, Monday - Friday, 9AM – 4PM.

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