As we hurtle towards the end of the month we thought it was important to share with you that September is FASD (Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) Awareness Month. Given the cohort of children that we have here at Beech Lodge we feel it is important to shed light on this little known and yet very preventable disorder. We fully support the aims of the organisations involved in the campaign and hope that more awareness and understanding of the needs of children and young people diagnosed with FASD is forthcoming.
Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a series of preventable birth defects of the brain and body that only exist because of pre-natal exposure to alcohol. It is an umbrella term for several diagnoses, all related to alcohol in the womb. It is a neurological condition that causes learning difficulties, physical challenges and emotional problems and is a condition that is that is life-long and untreatable, but entirely preventable.
While FASD might affect anyone whose mother drank in pregnancy, some groups are disproportionately affected. Alcohol misuse is one of the main reasons children are taken into care. This does not mean they will have FASD, but it does mean that it is a big part of the picture for adoptive families and looked-after children, with some estimates suggesting around three-quarters of looked-after children could be affected by the condition.
For more information about FASD please check out these useful websites and help these children become better understood.