Communities across the world engaged in a moment of silence Friday morning to reflect on those affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
“It’s just a moment to think about what services families and children need across the world that are affected with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and those services we still need in this province,” head of the Battlefords FASD committee Colleen Sabraw said.
The moment of silence is on the ninth day of the ninth month at 9:09 a.m. to represent the nine months of pregnancy.
FASD encompasses a variety of disabilities that can affect those exposed to alcohol in the womb, according to the Saskatchewan FASD Network. If a pregnant person drinks alcohol, the fetus is directly exposed to alcohol through their blood, which can interfere with growth and development. People can suffer from cognitive, behavioural, physical or sensory disabilities, or a combination of several. Although some disabilities related to FASD are visible, often it’s an invisible disorder.
Sabraw, who’s also the director of the Battlefords Early Childhood Intervention Program, and several other committee members and supporters gathered outside North West College in North Battleford Friday morning, Sept. 9.
The group served up pancakes, handed out resources about FASD and talked to residents. Sabraw said the community needs to talk about FASD more, not only to educate about the dangers of drinking while pregnant, but to reduce the stigma so people affected aren’t afraid to come forward and ask for help.
“We need to talk about it and let that stigma go for families,” she said. “If their partner can help support them and they come forward to ask for that service and that support then we want to make sure they feel comfortable.”
Sarah Rae is battlefordsNOW's court and crime reporter. She can be reached at [email protected] or tweet her @sarahjeanrae.
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