The first annual Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Month is September 2015. FASD Awareness Month is a new, annual campaign to increase recognition about the risks of prenatal alcohol exposure and the needs of children and adults living with an FASD. This year’s theme is “Alcohol-and pregnancy: No safe amount; No safe time; No safe alcohol. Period.”
Alcohol exposure during pregnancy can interfere with a baby’s healthy development and is directly associated with brain damage and other birth defects. Brain damage can occur across a spectrum from mild to severe and may not be recognized until the child is an adolescent or older.
While some are aware of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and the risk of prenatal alcohol exposure, others are not. Even among those familiar with FASD, many don’t realize it may affect as many children as autism–if not more–and that any alcohol exposure poses a risk to a developing baby.
NOFAS calls on its partners, FASD advocates, professionals in the healthcare, education, legal, and public health fields, and the public, to learn about the risks associated with alcohol and pregnancy and to promote the campaign.
The month of September will be filled with local, state, and national events aimed at educating people about the prevention and treatment of FASD. Local NOFAS Affiliates as well as community organizations, universities, schools, churches, federal agencies, advocates and others will sponsor a host of activities that create awareness and encourage resources for individuals and families.
On September 9, 1999, International FASD Awareness Day was established by FASworld and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Support, Training, Advocacy, and Resources (FASSTAR). Today, over 30 countries are planning activities on or around September 9. The day has grown to a month of in-person and online events, initiatives, publications, educational forums, professional trainings, and celebrations.
To learn how you can be part of this important movement click on the FASD Awareness Day logo below.